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20 Nov 2017

Ben Vanpeperstraete, Judy Gearhart, Lynda Yanz and Scott Nova for The Daily Star

Bangladesh: Accord will continue its work until functioning national safety regulatory body is in place, say NGOs

"Why the Accord will be here until 2021", 15 November 2017

In reaction to recent statements concerning the future of the Bangladesh Accord, the Witness Signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh [...] wish to respond regarding the continuation of the Accord's inspection programme. Recent statements have led some to erroneously believe that the Accord is scheduled to end in 2018... The purpose of the renewed Accord, which takes effect in May of 2018 when the current 2013 Accord expires, is to ensure that factories made safe under the Accord remain safe. At the same time, the new Accord will support improvements to Bangladesh's public regulatory regime, in order to strengthen and pass on this responsibility to the Bangladesh government at the end of those three years... The Accord cannot exit Bangladesh until all parties agree that the government is ready to take over these responsibilities... To exit prematurely would be disastrous: it would expose workers to renewed risk of injury and death and it would gravely undermine buyer confidence in Bangladesh. [refers to H&M, Inditex (Zara), Primark, and PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein)]