EU – Bangladesh Global Sustainability Compact

woensdag 10 juli 2013   On Monday 8 July, an agreement was signed between the European Commission, the Bangladeshi government and the ILO. The signing of this agreement was witnessed by major garment retailers, employers’ federations and trade unions. The agreement (Compact) seeks to improve labour, health and safety conditions for workers, as well as to encourage responsible behavior by businesses in the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh.

IndustriAll Europe supports the Global Compact for Improvements in Labour Rights and Factory Safety in Bangladesh

On Monday 8 July, an agreement was signed between the European Commission (led by EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht), the Bangladeshi government (led by Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni) and the International Labour Organisation (led by Director-General Guy Ryder). The signing of this agreement was witnessed by major garment retailers, employers’ federations and trade unions. The agreement (Compact) seeks to improve labour, health and safety conditions for workers, as well as to encourage responsible behaviour by businesses in the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. On behalf of industriAll Europe, Deputy General Secretary Luc Triangle participated.

The agreement focuses on three chapters : Respect for labour rights, Structural integrity of buildings and occupational health and safety, and Responsible business conduct.

The initiative, entitled “Compact for Continuous Improvements in Labour Rights and Factory Safety in the Ready-Made Garment and Knitwear Industry in Bangladesh”, lists commitments to act within deadlines on issues such as:

  • Reforming the Bangladesh Labour Law to strengthen workers’ rights, in particular regarding freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and to improve occupational health and safety. A new Labour Law should be in place by the end of 2013. The ILO will monitor the effective enforcement of the new legislation.
  • Recruiting 200 additional inspectors by the end of 2013, as part of the efforts to ensure regular visits to factories and assess their working conditions, including aspects such as occupational safety and health, and compliance with labour laws.
  • Improving building and fire safety, especially structural safety of buildings and fire safety in ready-made garment factories, by June 2014. The ILO will help to coordinate efforts and mobilise technical resources.
The government of Bangladesh will endeavour to become eligible for the Better Work Programme, a partnership between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which helps firms to improve practices based on core ILO labour standards and national labour law.   The Accord on Fire and Building Safety which was introduced and promoted by our colleagues at IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global has already signed by 75 major brands. It is currently also in its implementation phase and also constitute part of this Compact agreement. For the Compact agreement, click [here].
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