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Bangladesh factory reports yet to be made public

The Bangladesh government is in a dilemma over making its inspection reports on readymade garment factories public. Reason: it wants to scrutinise the necessary legal and procedural aspects. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has called upon the government to disclose the findings of ongoing apparel factory safety inspections.

In July 2013, Bangladesh, the EU, and the ILO agreed to a contract on labor rights and factory safety, which the US government later joined, to create a publicly accessible database listing all readymade garment and knitwear factories as a platform for reporting labor, fire and building safety inspections. The database would include information on factories and their locations, their owners, the results of inspections regarding complaints of anti-union discrimination and unfair labor practices, fines and sanctions administered, as well as remedial actions taken, if any.

The Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology has already inspected about 250 garment units but till date no reports have been published. On the other hand, Accord, an European Union-based initiative by more than 150 global apparel companies, brands, retailers and trade unions, and Alliance, another North American retailers' platform, have already made some of their assessment reports public on their respective websites. They are also in the process of uploading more reports in the coming days.