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Accord prepares Bangladesh exit, to handover responsibilities from October 15

Accord will begin handing over responsibility for factory safety monitoring to Bangladesh from October 15. The tenure of the European buyers’ platform will end on November 30. The platform will also submit a time-bound transition plan.

Accord has so far inspected more than 1,600 readymade garment factories. Accord-listed factories have completed more than 89 per cent of remediation work while 172 factories have completed 100 per cent remediation. The tenure of the platform in Bangladesh ended in May this year but it was allowed a six-month transition period.

Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013 that killed more than 1100 people, mostly garment workers, EU retailers formed the Accord and North American retailers formed the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, undertaking a five-year plan which set timeframes and accountability for inspections and training and workers’ empowerment programs. Alliance will leave Bangladesh after ending its transition period in November.

Global stakeholders, including buyers, trade unions and investors, have requested Bangladesh to allow the operation of Transition Accord till a national body is ready to take over factory safety responsibility. Accord was an unprecedented, independent, legally binding agreement between trade unions and brands. The Bangladesh readymade garment industry is undoubtedly safer, and lives have been saved.