It’s been ten years since the disaster at a garment factory in Bangladesh.
The fire at Tazreen Fashions killed at least 112 garment workers, many of them because they were unable to escape – trapped between locked exits and barred windows. The struggle for workplace safety and justice for injured and killed workers in Bangladesh and beyond continues.This was not the first major garment factory incident in Bangladesh: for years brands and factory owners had been aware of the hazards for garment workers in the industry, but failed to act.
Only after the Rana Plaza building came crashing down exactly six months later did brands rush to action and sign the legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
A decade later, there are however still brands which have failed to draw the lessons from the preventable deaths at Tazreen and Rana Plaza. While 186 brands have signed this agreement, several brands which have first hand experience with workers dying in their death trap factories have failed to commit to protecting the safety of the workers in their supply chain. But ten years since the Tazreen fire, and more than nine years since the start of the Accord program, the legally binding and enforceable system that holds brands to account for its suppliers and gives workers avenues to raise their safety issues effectively has proven its worth. It has prevented mass casualties in the industry and made factories noticeably safer.