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Bangladesh: Unsafe factories continue in business

More than a 100 readymade garment factories in Bangladesh are operating in risky buildings despite an order to vacate buildings that put the lives of workers at risk. After the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers, some 2,000 garment factories have been inspected by Accord, Alliance and some 1500 factories by the government-ILO joint move.

More than 80 per cent remediation has so far been completed in Accord and Alliance-listed garment factories but the progress is slow in factories under national initiative. During initial inspection on structural integrity, fire and electrical safety conducted by western retailers' two platforms -- Accord and Alliance and the national initiative -- soon after the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013, a total of 163 garment factories were found running in risky buildings. They were asked to relocate but only 39 factories complied.

Even after the 39 garment units relocated, the building authorities allowed other establishments to run businesses despite an order not to use the structures for any commercial purposes until required safety measures were put in place. Factory and building owners have been repeatedly asked not to use buildings without retrofitting or renovating them.