Pakistan Safety Accord Update and Briefing for Licensees
February 21, 2023
I am pleased to share further information regarding the implementation of the Pakistan Accord following our communication in December. The Pakistan Accord, modeled on the success of the Bangladesh Accord, will be a powerful vehicle to address fire and structural hazards in garment and textile factories, risks that have long had fatal consequences in Pakistan.
Thirty-five brands and retailers have already signed the Pakistan Accord
It has been one month since brands began receiving invitations to sign the Pakistan Accord, a new, separate agreement that will work in conjunction with the International Accord (formerly known as the Bangladesh Accord). Thirty-five brands, from eight countries, have already signed the new agreement, together covering more than 300 garment factories across Pakistan. Led by an early commitment from the six brands on the Accord’s global Steering Committee, including H&M and PVH, all International Accord signatories sourcing from Pakistan are expected to join the program.
US government is urging brands to sign
Last month, the WRC provided a briefing on the Pakistan Accord to officials at the US State Department and the Department of Labor. Both of those agencies have issued communications supporting the program and encouraging brands to become signatories.
WRC will hold an online information session for licensees on February 24
As you know, a significant volume of collegiate goods is sourced from Pakistan, with an estimated 50,000+ workers across 80 factories producing university logo apparel for 47 licensees. Of these, eight are signatories of the International Accord, which encompasses the Bangladesh program. As with the Accord in Bangladesh, universities licensees sourcing from Pakistan will have the chance to benefit from the collective safety efforts of many of the world’s largest apparel brands, while also contributing to these efforts. The result will be the elimination of dangerous hazards in factories where workers sew university apparel.
All university licensees sourcing collegiate goods from Pakistan have now received a formal invitation from the Accord’s international office to sign the Pakistan Accord.
To help ensure licensees are well informed about the benefits and obligations of the program, and the vital role it will play in improving safety in Pakistan, the WRC is hosting an online briefing for licensees on February 24. In addition to WRC staff and Board members, presenters will include senior staff of the International Accord and a representative from one of the major brand signatories.
The Pakistan Accord is putting the pieces in place for a swift ramp-up
The first phase of program implementation is now underway, having begun with the establishment of the Accord office in Karachi. An initial pool of fifty factories will be identified for safety inspections in Sindh province, with the next phase focused on expanding to the Punjab province. The program will ultimately cover at least 500 factories throughout both provinces.
We will discuss the Pakistan Accord in depth at the WRC Annual University Caucus Meeting in Washington, DC on March 24. I hope to see you there.