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15 Nov 2022

Michelle Russell, Just-Style

Pakistan: Clean Clothes Campaign calls for extension of the Accord to Pakistan, after tracker shows over three dozen incidents in garment factories over 20 months

"Safety incidents push call for Pakistan Accord implementation", 14 November 2022

Clean Clothes Campaign has again called for an expansion of the International Accord on Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry to Pakistan where it says safety incidents are “deadly”.

Launched this week, the campaign brief says that most safety incidents and violations in the Pakistan garment industry go unnoticed and are not mentioned in media, due to “lack of effective oversight and the sheer amount of such incidents”.

Clean Clothes Campaign says that its factory incidents tracker shows over three dozen incidents in Pakistan over the past twenty months in factories of both Accord signatory brands and brands that have not signed the Accord. The group says that most of the factory level issues could have been easily detected and remediated, had a programme like the legally binding International Accord already existed..

Steps towards initiating a Pakistan programme as part of the International Accord are well underway. However, Clean Clothes Campaign says two major hurdles remain to be taken. While plans are in an advanced stage, the actual decision when to officially launch the programme has not been overcome, and workers remain unaware of when they will be able to appeal to the programme’s protection.

And while there is consensus among stakeholders that this programme can not be an exact copy of that in Bangladesh, the parameters of the new programme still must be decided upon.

The brief by Clean Clothes Campaign stresses the need to “shape these parameters according to the needs of workers and their union representatives”.

A coalition of Pakistani unions and labour rights organisations has already formulated a vision of what they would need a Pakistan country programme to look like for it to be successful in their national context. This brief urges all stakeholders involved to “do justice to the needs of the Pakistani workers in the formulation of the programme’s content and in launching operations by the start of next year”...

The Accord did not return a request for comment at the time of going to press.