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Clean Clothes seeks initiatives like Bangladesh Accord
31
May '16
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) has called upon the International Labour Conference (ILC) now under way in Geneva, to concretely discuss and initiate means to replicate and implement initiatives such as the Bangladesh Accord.

Something like the Bangladesh Accord can be replicated by establishing an institutional framework that enables cross-border negotiations and develop effective remedy and prevention programmes without waiting for a scandal that triggers them, and with the ability to scale up, CCC said in a press release.

The CCCC is the garment industry's largest alliance of labour unions and non-governmental organizations. Clean Clothes Campaign also urged delegates at the ILC to push for the establishment of an enforcement framework that can ensure those programmes will be legally binding and therefore can be implemented and sustained.

CCC said it welcomes the fact that for the first time in the long history of the ILC, global supply chain issues are a main focus of the conference, and follows the work of the Committee on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains with heightened interest.

CCC is being represented at the conference by a delegation of trade unionists and labour activists from Europe and Asia. The delegation will use its presence at the conference to emphasize the need for an institutional framework for remedy and prevention that can be scaled up to an enforceable solution.

Thus far, institutional frameworks within global supply chains are often responses to singular tragedies, and remain stand-alone initiatives. The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety for example came about as response to the Rana Plaza building collapse, but in the three years since it has not led to comparable work elsewhere in South Asia. Brands, employers and governments are not compelled to take the kind of collective action that is needed to make real changes.

Binding agreements, that pin companies down on the public promises made, such as the Bangladesh Accord, are rare and often only established in reaction to extraordinary events such as the Rana Plaza collapse.

The wide-spread issues that need to be addressed in global supply chains are exemplified by a range of reports published in the wake of the ILC, by organizations from the Clean Clothes Campaigns' network, teh release said.

“Our presence at the ILC enables us to reiterate that it is demonstrably not sufficient to just bring supply chain actors together in a dialogue and rely on their collective ability to take action. We knock on the door of the International Labour Organization to become involved in overcoming the weaknesses of non-binding initiatives and to enhance collaboration and transparency among the industry partners.” Frieda de Koninck of Clean Clothes Campaign said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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