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Bangladesh: Report finds Accord's independent complaint mechanism protects workers & allows for access to remedy

Author: International Labor Rights Forum, Published on: 15 May 2019

"Calling for Remedy", 15 May 2019

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh... has an accessible, rights-based and confidential complaint mechanism, which functions in tandem with the independent inspectorate...

This report analyzes the structure and procedures of the Accord’s complaint mechanism, worker and union complaints received by Accord staff, Accord responses, and resolutions reached. Additionally, it draws on worker interviews... [W]e find that the Accord’s complaint mechanism:

  • Is an independent and responsive avenue through which garment workers in Bangladesh are regularly raising concerns of safety violations.
  • Provides responsive and meaningful action and is successful at securing remediation...
  • Ensures that workers are able to exercise their right to refuse dangerous work.
  • Protects workers from retaliation.
  • Provides apparel brands and retailers with knowledge of factory-level issues that would otherwise go undetected and unreported, allowing them to remediate.
  • Provides transparency by publicly reporting on all complaints received, with details about their current status and resolution.
  • Reduces potential gender bias in worker access...

An essential policy of the Accord complaint system is a commitment... to always take action when retaliation against workers who raise health and safety concerns is brought to its attention. Without intervention mandated by the Accord, many workers who were fired after raising the alarm over risks and hazards they perceive would not have been rehired...

The success of the Accord’s independent complaint mechanism is one of several reasons why the work of the Accord should be allowed to continue until credible alternatives for all aspects of its work are in place.

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