37 clothing factories closed after inspections in Bangladesh

20. Nov 2015

After the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013 where at least 1134 people were killed, the Government of Bangladesh initiated an extensive inspection of the country's clothing factories. The inspections are now finished and focus has switched to remediation.

In collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Bangladeshi government has inspected 1.475 factories that produce clothing for export. The Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety and The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety have further inspected 2.185 factories for safety matters such as fire hazard, risk of collapse and electrical safety.

Out of a total of 3.660 factories, 37 have been closed while the rest will be assisted in developing and completing Correction Action Plans (CAP) which maps the conditions that need improvement.

“The Government of Bangladesh with the support of ILO has undertaken a number of steps to help factories develop CAPS. A ‘CAP Kit’ is provided to factories that provides templates and easy instructions”, Tuomo Poutiainen, manager of ILO’s Improving Working Conditions in the RMG Sector Programme, writes in an email to Danwatch.

Still uncertainty over funding

The initiative includes the harmonization of inspection standards, training of the inspectors and more transparency as 1.778 inspection report summaries are now online.

However, it is not free for factories to establish the safety improvements but the ILO and Tuomo Poutiainen cannot yet give an answer on how the improvements will be funded:

“Access to financing for remediating is another issue that is being looked at. A study is currently underway launched by ILO and IFC (International Finance Corporation, ed.) that looks at remediation financing challenges and options for RMG factories. This should be completed in early 2016”.