CCC calls int’l partners to stand against Bangladesh over Accord
Inside a readymade garments factory in Bangladesh.
International rights group for apparel, Clean Clothes Campaign has called upon the international community to take a stand against Bangladesh government on the issue of Bangladesh Accord.
In a statement released on February 15, 2019, Clean Clothes claimed that the Bangladesh authorities are determined to expel Accord from the country and that its work on around 1,600 apparel factories will be handed over to an incapable national inspection body.
If the government of Bangladesh and factory owners indeed manage to expel the Accord, it will reverse significant advances made to factory safety over the past five years and create irreversible reputational harm to the garment industry itself, Clean Clothes said.
This will put the progress made through five years of remediation work at Bangladesh’s apparel factories, since disasters like Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire, at risk, it said.
Carrying out its inspection program from outside Bangladesh would come at a high price. The Accord would continue to deliver protections to workers by contracting international engineering firms. Without permanent engineers on the ground, however, the Accord would face serious limitations to its ability to monitor and verify remediation progress at Accord-covered factories, it said.
The Accord’s Chief Safety Inspector has announced that in the event of a move to Amsterdam, he would be forced to declare hundreds of poorly performing factories ineligible to sell product to any of the Accord’s 192 signatory brands. Because the programme would no longer be able to provide necessary help to complete life-saving renovations in a timely fashion, it could therefore not assure signatories that these factories are safe sourcing destinations, it added.
Such a situation – in which brands would lose suppliers, factories would lose buyers, workers would lose jobs and factories would become more unsafe – benefits no one: not the brands, not the government, not the factory owners, and least of all the workers. We therefore call for a political solution to make a genuine transition based on real readiness criteria and solutions for all of the Accord’s vital tasks, Clean Clothes said.
If the government of Bangladesh chooses to ignore these appeals, it is up to Bangladesh’s trading partners and buyers to take a stand, including the governments of the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands, as international funders of the Remediation Coordination Cell, it concluded.
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