The Rana Plaza compensation fund has reached its target of $30m (£19.6m) more than two years after the devastating factory collapse which killed 1,129 people in Bangladesh in April 2013.
The fund has now received a large anonymous donation, said the Clean Clothes Campaign, which has been demanding that brands and retailers provide compensation to the families of the victims since the disaster.
“This is a huge victory – but it has been too long in the making,” said Ineke Zeldenrust, a spokesman for the Clean Clothes Campaign.
“That brands with a collective annual profit of over $20bn (£13.09bn) took two years and significant public pressure to come up with a mere $30m (£19.6m) is an indictment of the voluntary nature of social responsibility. We now need to look at ways to ensure that access to such remedy is provided by brands and retailers as a matter of course, and not only when public outrage makes doing nothing impossible.
UNI Global Union general secretary Philip Jennings also welcomed the move: “The compensation fund shows that global unions and NGOs can work with international brands to ensure they live up to their responsibilities along the supply chain.
“This is a positive day in a tortuous saga for the survivors and the families of the victims.”
IndustriAll Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina added: “The fight continues for a living wage and the right to be part of a trade union.
“These struggles are fundamental to changing the conditions in garment factories so that tragedies like Rana Plaza will never happen again.”