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Early Impacts of Coronavirus on Bangladesh Apparel Supply Chains

May 12, 20200

Early Impacts of Coronavirus on Bangladesh Apparel Supply Chains

RISC Briefing – April 2020
Perspectives from a Danida funded research project

The Regulation of International Supply Chains (RISC): Lessons from the Governance of Occupational Health and Safety in the Bangladesh Ready-Made Garment Industry

Publication date: 30 April 2020

Seven years ago this month, more than 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh were killed when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed on top of them. Today, the Bangladesh apparel industry and its 4+ million workers face a new crisis: coronavirus. Obvious health issues aside, the impacts of the global pandemic on the industry and its workers are potentially catastrophic for the industry and the wider society alike. This report outlines some the early issues and developments relating to the impact of coronavirus in Bangladesh’s apparel industry and supply chain.

The report has two primary aims. First, it seeks to aggregate key information about developments and issues arising in Bangladesh’s apparel industry as a result of the coronavirus. Accounts and reporting are widespread, and the report brings together data and information from both international and local sources. It draws on media articles, academic research, watchdog reports, governmental policies and industry accounts to create a comprehensive overview of the issues and reporting. Second, and more significantly, it looks behind the numbers and accounts to provide analysis of, and reflections on, the broader issues and challenges at play. Key questions arising from this are detailed in the final section. The content here is reflective of a close collaboration of researchers from both the Global North and Bangladesh, thereby providing a balanced perspective.

The Research Report can be downloaded here.

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