With the expected departure date of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety getting closer, clamour is growing as to Accord’s continuation in the country. The latest to join the list in this regard is a group on non-governmental organisations.
Several leading European NGOs involved in the ethical fashion sector have reportedly called upon Bangladesh Government to allow the Accord to continue its work on safety in the country’s garment sector.
“There is still more to be done to complete the remediation at factories covered by the Accord,” reportedly stated a joint letter sent to the Government by the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT), Fair Wear Foundation, Fair Labor Association, the Ethical Trading Initiative and Amfori, among others.
It may be mentioned here that the European buyers/retailers’ body Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh — signed on 15 May 2013 to build a safe and healthy Bangladeshi readymade garment industry in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza disaster — has earlier warned the industry against sourcing squeeze if it is to depart the country this November.
“The consequences of a closure of the Accord liaison office in Bangladesh will be significant, immediate, and damaging,” reportedly underlined Deputy Director of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh Joris Oldenziel while speaking to Reuters adding, “The premature shut down of the Accord, leaving workers in unsafe circumstances, would jeopardize the brands’ ability to source from a safe industry.”
Even the European Parliament recently passed a resolution asking Bangladesh to extend the tenure of the buyers’ body beyond November while underlining that significant work still remains unfinished on improving safety standards in the country’s apparel sector.
Meanwhile, at a time when speculations are rife as to Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh leaving the country by the end of November, the European Parliament recently passed a resolution Bangladesh to extend the tenure of the buyers’ body beyond November while underlining that significant work still remains unfinished on improving safety standards in the country’s apparel sector.
The resolution reportedly calls upon the European Commission to review the preferential trade status of Bangladesh, as the Government of Bangladesh is violating the conditions set out by the Accord, the Sustainability Compact and the terms of their most favourable trade arrangement with the EU.
“The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was signed between global apparel brands, retailers and trade unions; whereas to date, less than half of the factories covered by the accord have completed adequate safety measures; whereas the accord expired in October 2018, despite significant work remaining to be done; whereas the accord was succeeded by a Transition Accord to apply for three years,” reportedly maintained the resolution adding, “The Accord needs to be supported and all parties allowed to continue their work smoothly, including beyond November 2018.”