Last year, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced that her vision for the Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) sector was to reach $50bn in exports by 2021. It is an important and ambitious goal for a nation that has worked hard to develop a brighter economic future. With the RMG sector accounting for 81 per cent of Bangladesh’s overall exports, reaching such a milestone could help the nation substantially reduce poverty and strengthen economic outcomes for millions of people.
May 13, 2015—On April 25, 2015, an M7.9 Himalayan earthquake centered roughly 80 km northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal was felt throughout parts of South Asia. Alliance staff felt the tremors in Dhaka, located approximately 700 km from the epicenter, and took immediate steps to assess any potential structural damage to garment factories that may have resulted from the aftershocks.
Today a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,000 people. The aftershocks of this massive earthquake were felt across Nepal, Bangladesh, India and other parts of South Asia. I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to the people of Nepal and the families of the victims.
For millions of people, the Bangladesh garment industry is the path to a better life. Not only a path to earning a living, but also providing their families and their country unprecedented economic opportunities. The spirit and resilience of the women and men working in ready-made garment (RMG) factories has spurred unprecedented growth in the sector and Bangladesh’s economy. This growth has laid the groundwork for Bangladesh to reach new levels of development that would not have otherwise been possible.
The changes in Bangladesh—brought about by tragedy—have transformed the global RMG industry. Now there are common goals when it comes to safety standards, worker safety and worker rights. The RMG industry will be forever changed by the developments in Bangladesh and the unprecedented public-private partnerships focused on the worker.
In July 2013, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) was formed to ensure that no garment worker would have to choose between safe working conditions and a paycheck. I am extremely proud of the efforts undertaken by the Alliance and member companies to improve the safety of RMG factories, ensuring every garment factory is inspected, every employee is trained and empowered, and remediation is undertaken by every factory owner.
Although there is much more work to be done, I want to take this opportunity to highlight the Alliance’s major achievements since 2013 and our priorities for this year...
The Alliance expresses our sincere condolences to the victims of today’s earthquake in Nepal that has also resulted in the loss of life, injuries and structural damage in neighboring countries, including Bangladesh...
April 24, 2015 marks the second anniversary of the collapse of Rana Plaza, in which 1,134 garment workers lost their lives to an unspeakable tragedy. We pause today to remember the victims and their families—and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that no garment worker in Bangladesh has to risk his or her life to make a living.
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2015
Dhaka, Bangladesh—The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety today announced the appointment of fire safety expert Mark Chubb to serve as chief safety officer. In this role, he will oversee fire safety operations and training in Bangladesh and guide remediation efforts in all factories from which Alliance Members source.
“Mark will ensure that the Alliance continues to bring world-class expertise to factory remediation and fire safety programs for Bangladesh garment workers,” said Alliance Independent Chair Ellen Tauscher. “His role as an advisor will be critical to factories from which the Alliance sources, as they ensure compliance with our strict standards.”
10,000 participants and 50 exhibitors participated in the largest safety expo in nation’s history
Dhaka, Bangladesh - The second International Trade Expo for Building and Fire Safety - the largest gathering of fire and safety equipment vendors, factory representatives and other stakeholders in Bangladesh's history—kicked off December 7 in Dhaka. The event brought garment industry leaders together with leading international safety equipment vendors and experts to help increase access to the latest safety expertise, tools and technologies in Bangladesh.
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