The importance of a smooth Accord transition in Bangladesh

At KappAhl, we are concerned about the future of ready-made garments workers in Bangladesh and the transition of “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh“, also known as the Transition Accord, going from being an international multi-party initiative to being run by a national organization.

Shortly, on April 7 2019, Bangladesh’s Supreme Court will decide on the continuation of the Accord’s important task of creating secure working conditions for employees in the Bangladesh ready-made garments industry.

We at KappAhl urge all stakeholders to consider the value of cooperation and prestigelessness when creating a long-term sustainable ready-made garments production in Bangladesh. We also urge all stakeholders to contribute to that the transition, from today’s Accord over to the national organization, does not take place until there is a stable structure built up to take over the important responsibility of protecting the ready-made garments workers.

More about KappAhl’s work within the Accord
Safety issues have long been a neglected area in Bangladesh and a fire can have disastrous consequences. As a direct effect of the disaster in the Rana Plaza factory outside Dhaka in April 2013, with more than 1,100 dead and 2,500 injured, the “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh”, was started, a project to guarantee a more secure and safe working environment for millions of ready-made garments workers in the country. KappAhl has since cooperated with the Accord and its members who are more than 200 international industry colleagues, international labour organisations and local trade unions. Since the Accord was established, more than 1,600 factories have been inspected, extensive improvements have been implemented and now follow-up visits are being conducted to check them. All factories with established cooperation with KappAhl have been inspected as part of the Accord. We see extensive improvements regarding fire, electrical and building safety in the factories we work with.

The first Accord, which ran until May 2018, has been replaced by a second Accord – the Transition Accord on Fire and Building Safety. KappAhl signed this accord at an early stage and continues the work for safer factories in Bangladesh. The aim is for the Accord to switch from being an industry initiative with foreign purchasing companies and trade unions to being run by an organisation with the Bangladesh government, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association as stakeholders in future.

More information at www.bangladeshaccord.org

Posted by Charlotte Högberg

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