Many garment workers toil in the fashion supply chain without their governments paying much attention to safety.

After the expiry of the Bangladesh Accord, the International Legally Binding Agreement on Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry was formed by joint stakeholders in December 2021. and Garment Industry – was formed last December to extend protections in Pakistan.

On Monday, brands including Bestseller, C&A, H&M, Inditex, Otto Group and PVH Corp officially revealed their commitment to the Pakistan Accord in a joint statement. All of the aforementioned brands are signatories of the Board of Directors of the International Agreement.

The latest measures would extend protections to Pakistan, where brands currently source more than $2.6 billion worth of clothing. In short, the International Agreement obliges companies to disclose all factories producing garments in Bangladesh (or in this case, Pakistan), to ensure that all listed factories comply with inspection and training programs at safety, as well as to support the factories in the context of sanitation, while assuming the associated costs.

In the absence of effective enforcement of labor laws, workers in Pakistan, for example, are currently exposed to a number of risks, including injuries, harassment, theft of wages , etc. The agreement aims to ensure that basic human rights due diligence is respected in fashion supply chains.

As previously reported, Khalid Mahmood, director of the Labor Education Foundation, said a legally binding agreement such as this “can be an effective tool to secure fundamental workers’ rights, but it can only be effective ‘with the significant participation of a trade union organisation’. Force.”

Last summer, Pakistan experienced devastating monsoon season floods that inundated a third of the country, directly affecting 33 million people. It is in this context that the brands finally underlined their support.

According to the joint statement, the member brands of the Accord’s steering committee emphasized that “The International Accord aims to protect the health and safety of millions of workers while helping the industry achieve sustainable export growth. With the signing of the Pakistan agreement and our brands’ commitment to this new safety program, we are renewing our commitment to a long-term supply relationship with Pakistan.

“The Pakistan agreement provides an opportunity to both increase the visibility of the efforts already made by many manufacturers to invest in fire and building safety measures in recent years and to deepen and extend them. to the entire Pakistani garment and textile industry, making it an increasingly attractive option for buyers around the world.

“We encourage all brands around the world to sign the Pakistan Accord and join us in our collective commitment to raise safety standards at supplier factories in Pakistan.”

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