Tag Archives: South Asia

Mahmudul H Sumon: An anonymous visit to a garment factory in Bangladesh

After the Tazreen Fashions factory fire (2012) and the Rana Plaza collapse (2013), which killed 119 and 1,136 workers, respectively, the garment sector of Bangladesh has seen the coming of two new regimes of regulatory bodies, namely, “the Accord” (Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh) and “the Alliance” (Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety). Both bodies are said to be legally binding agreements between global brands/retailers and trade unions designed to build a safe and healthy ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. Some transnational activists regard these developments as great achievements. In fact, an attempt to have a legally binding document that would hold brands and retailers responsible for their shoddy practices in the global supply chain has been a long-standing demand by some international trade unions, the Clean Clothes Campaign, and other global campaign groups for workers’ rights. The Tazreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza collapse expedited the process.

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Mallika Shakya: Ethnicity in Nepal’s new constitution

From politics of culture to politics of justice

Nepal promulgated its constitution on 20 September—the first after ending the monarchy, and one replacing the interim constitution in place since 2007. That interim constitution had been put in place to mark the peace agreement with the Nepali Maoists, mainstreaming them into democratic politics and unarming them under the UN mediation. While there were other obstacles in finalizing the constitution, the hardest nut to crack has been the issue of federalism because it involved finding a way to work Nepal’s multiple ethnic and regional identities into the mono-ethnic nationalism institutionalized by the state thus far.
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