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LONDON - Human Rights Watch says the social audits and certifications that brands and retailers rely on to monitor threats to workers trying to organise independent trade unions are "totally inadequate".

It follows an analysis of standard social audit reports of garment factories in Bangladesh by the NGO which concludes that most audit reports either barely address freedom of association or, in some cases, even recycle stock language from other factory audit reports.

Human Rights Watch says these shortcomings are highlighted by the June 2023 killing of union leader Shahidul Islam as he was leaving a Bangladesh garment factory where he had been mediating on behalf of garment workers over a pay dispute.

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