Presentation on Agreement during Bangladesh meeting at Asser Institute
What steps were taken after the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh in 2013? Jef Wintermans, coordinator of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile, talked about the Agreement during a meeting on 12 April organised by the Asser Institute.
Businesses that have signed the agreement use IRBC risk management – due diligence – to actively track down abuses and improve conditions in production countries such as Bangladesh. It became clear during the Asser Institute meeting, ‘Five Years Later: Rana Plaza and the Pursuit of a Responsible Garment Supply Chain’, that the problems in the garment and textile sector have yet to be resolved but that participants in the Agreement and various other initiatives are working to do so.
Agreement backs Bangladesh Accord
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a well-known example of this. The Accord covers almost all of the Bangladeshi factories that appeared on the list of production sites published under the Agreement on 4 July 2017.
Businesses participating in the Agreement are also encouraged to sign the follow-up to this initiative, the second Bangladesh Accord. Almost all of those that have production sites in Bangladesh have in fact done so.
Training and instruction
Businesses participating in the Agreement are actively encouraged to improve working conditions in Bangladesh. The Secretariat offers encouragement during individual assessment interviews and other meetings with businesses. The Agreement organisation also offers participants various types of training. For example, it joined forces with unions in November to give a workshop on freedom of association, with union representatives from Bangladesh recounting their experiences and sharing practical tips.