2023 Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector

Expansion to Pakistan of the International Accord on Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry

Feb 13, 2023 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Virtual 2


by International Accord on Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry The International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry is an unprecedented legally binding agreement between 190 garment brands/retailers and global trade unions to make textile and garment factories safe. It came into effect on September 1, 2021, as the successor to the 2013 and 2018 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The agreement promotes workplace safety through independent inspections, remediation, and training programs and recognises the rights of workers to organise, refuse unsafe work and raise health and safety concerns. The Accord, with its brand and trade union signatories and the Bangladeshi manufacturers, has brought about remarkable and tangible positive impact in Bangladesh by applying key principles of due diligence, identifying salient risks and ensuring effective remedy for millions of workers in thousands of factories. In addition to the Accord’s work in Bangladesh now being implemented through the RMG Sustainability Council, the International Accord set out to explore expansion to other countries. Through surveys, desk research, and in-depth interviews, the Accord assessed the feasibility of such an expansion and based on key findings, Pakistan emerged as the priority country, along with Sri Lanka, Morocco and India. Since March 2022, the International Accord Secretariat met with key stakeholders from industry, government, trade unions, brands, and civil society for in-depth stakeholder consultations on the establishment of a Pakistan Accord. A decision among signatories to expand to Pakistan was made in December 2022, and preparations in close cooperation with local stakeholders are now being made to start the program in the first half of 2023. Signatories to the Pakistan Accord include brands such as H&M, Inditex, Bestseller, C&A, KiK, Hema, Carrefour, PVH and Aldi. The Accord will continue dialogue with stakeholders in Sri Lanka, Morocco, and India to assess the feasibility of establishing safety programs in their garment and textile industries. This session will seek to identify the lessons, challenges and opportunities that led to the achievements in Bangladesh and explore how they can now be applied in Pakistan to improve workplace safety and bring systemic change. Speakers: • Masarrat Quader, Public Affairs & Stakeholder Engagement Manager at H&M Group and member of the International Accord Steering Committee • Christina Hajagos Clausen, IndustriALL Global Union and member of the International Accord Steering Committee • Usman Rasheed, Business Unit Head at Taiga Apparel (Pvt.) Ltd (Pakistan) • Mohammed Sohel, Managing Director at Bangla Poshak Limited (Bangladesh) • Bushra Baten, Corporate Responsibility Manager at PVH Corp. (Bangladesh and Pakistan) • Kaschif Israr, Country General Manager & Chief Market Officer at Euro Centra (Pakistan)

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