A new self-regulating platform ‘Nirapon’ has been launched on the achievements of the Alliance’s successful remediation efforts aiming to sustain the safety achievements the Bangladesh RMG industry has made so far.
Nirapon builds on the achievements of the Alliance’s successful remediation efforts, and the goal of worker safety remains the same, the Nirapon model is fundamentally different, said the platform in a recent press release.
The Alliance worked directly with factories to drive remediation and training programs, however, Nirapon’s role is of oversight and independent verification of safety and training compliance and reporting these results to its members. It cannot and will not suspend factories nor share factory information other than to its members.
“Nirapon is created as a common platform by global RMG brands for whom Bangladesh is an important sourcing destination to sustain and build on the past six years’ remarkable safety achievements,” said its CEO, Moushumi M Khan.
As of today, there are 21 member brands and over 600 factories under Nirapon, Moushumi M Khan said a press conference of Nirapon at the Westin Dhaka yesterday.
All of these Nirapon-member brand factories are required to continue to meet the National Action Plan-harmonized standards for the physical safety of structural, fire and electrical components.
“The unprecedented partnership, that is Nirapon, will help build capacity towards a locally sustainable culture of factory safety,” Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Chairman of the board of Nirapon, said at the event.
“This Nirapon platform represents a welcome step towards greater worker safety in the Bangladesh RMG industry,” he said, adding, “Nirapon is not in any way a regulating body.”
“Nirapon is created as a common platform by global RMG brands for whom Bangladesh is an important sourcing destination to sustain and build on the past six years’ remarkable safety achievements.”
“Today we see that hundreds of factories have been remediated as per the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) and millions of workers and factory managers are trained and empowered. Nirapon will build on this impressive base,” he said.
Bangladesh will continue to be a special sourcing destination for the North American clothing retailers and brands, added Marco Reyes of Walmart, a US retail giant and one of the largest buyers of Bangladeshi garment items. This is because the South Asian country has already proved its strength in this business and improved the workplace safety significantly, he said.
“Safety has been an integral part of our supply chain and we, the brands, along with factory management, the government of Bangladesh, BGMEA and other stakeholders are working together so that workplace safety can be protected for all,” he said.
He also said his company has a long-term commitment for Bangladesh. Tapan Chowdhury, an independent Director of the Nirapon board, said the retailers and brands want to monitor safety in the garment sector.
The safety standards that the garment sector achieved after inspection and remediation is a big achievement for Bangladesh, he said, adding that the country would have to continue to ensure this safety in the garment sector.