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US releases Bangladesh Action Plan for workers' safety
22
Jul '13
The US Government has released the next steps in its longstanding effort to address worker safety problems in Bangladesh, in a meaningful way.
 
The steps are also aimed at efforts aimed at giving Bangladeshi workers the ability to exercise their full range of labour rights.
 
Under the Bangladesh Action Plan 2013, the US Government encourages the Government of Bangladesh to take significant actions to provide a basis for reinstating Bangladesh’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits, including by implementing commitments under the “National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity”.
 
The Action Plan involves taking the following actions, related to government inspections for labor, fire and building standards:
 
Develop, in consultation with the International Labor Organization (ILO), and implement in line with already agreed targets, a plan to increase the number of government labor, fire and building inspectors, improve their training, establish clear procedures for independent and credible inspections, and expand the resources at their disposal to conduct effective inspections in the readymade garment (RMG), knitwear, and shrimp sectors, including within Export Processing Zones (EPZs). 
 
Increase fines and other sanctions, including loss of import and export licenses, applied for failure to comply with labor, fire, or building standards to levels sufficient to deter future violations. 
 
Develop, in consultation with the ILO, and implement in line with already agreed targets, a plan to assess the structural building and fire safety of all active RMG/knitwear factories and initiate remedial actions, close or relocate inadequate factories, where appropriate. 
 
Create a publicly accessible database/matrix of all RMG/knitwear factories as a platform for reporting labor, fire, and building inspections, including information on the factories and locations, violations identified, fines and sanctions administered, factories closed or relocated, violations remediated, and the names of the lead inspectors. 
 
Establish directly or in consultation with civil society an effective complaint mechanism, including a hotline, for workers to confidentially and anonymously report fire, building safety, and worker rights violations. 
 
 

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