For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Contact: Natalie Butz, West End Strategy Team
email@example.com, office: 202-776-7700, cell: 202-765-8584
After Another Factory Fire in Bangladesh, Urgent Need for New Solutions to Address Factory Safety
NEW YORK – Today, a fire at a Bangladeshi sweater factory injured at least four people. Sarah Labowitz, co-director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response:
“The fire at Matrix Sweater is a stark reminder that factory safety issues haven’t been solved in Bangladesh, even in those factories that directly supply foreign fashion brands. Matrix was inspected by both the Accord and the Alliance, two factory safety initiatives in Bangladesh.
“This fire is also a reminder that paying to fix factories is as important as inspecting them. It is not enough to identify deficiencies. Factory owners and brands are locked in a stalemate over the costs of remediation that should be urgently resolved.
Upgrading Bangladesh’s export garment sector so that all workers are employed in safe conditions that meet minimum standards will require bigger, more comprehensive solutions, generated by a coalition of global fashion brands, their Bangladeshi suppliers, governments, labor unions, and civil society.”
The Center has published two reports and an interactive factory map on the shortcomings of the indirect sourcing model and the associated risks to workers in Bangladesh. “Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg: Bangladesh’s Forgotten Apparel Workers” was released in December 2015. “Business as Usual is Not an Option: Supply Chains and Sourcing after Rana Plaza” was released in April 2014.
The mission of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights is to challenge and empower companies and future business leaders to make practical progress on human rights.