A new safety agreement for workers in Bangladesh has been agreed following months of negotiations between brands and global unions, with plans to expand to other countries.

The new agreement, which builds on the progress of the former Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, continues legally-binding commitments to the safety of workers in Bangladesh and promises to expand the programme to other countries.

The new agreement, called the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry, takes effect on 1 September 2021.

Like its predecessor agreement, this is a legally binding agreement between companies and trade unions to make Ready-Made Garment (RMG) and textile factories safe. The renewed agreement advances the fundamental elements that made the Accord successful, including: respect for freedom of association, independent administration and implementation, a high level of transparency, provisions to ensure remediation is financially feasible, Safety Committee training and worker awareness program, and a credible, independent complaints mechanism. In Bangladesh, the agreement is already implemented by the independent national tri-partite RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) consisting of brands, unions and industry.