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Bangladesh | Dhaka, 18 May 2017

Bangladesh urged to step up its effort to improve workers’ rights in the garment industry

Representatives of the EU, US, Canada, Bangladesh and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have issued joint conclusions on the situation of Bangladeshi textile workers, following their meeting in Dhaka.

The initiative, called Bangladesh Sustainability Compact, was born in the aftermath of the tragic factory collapse in 2013 which claimed 1,129 lives.

The partners recognise the progress made by Bangladesh in several areas, in particular related to safety at work place and trade unions' registration procedures.

The assessment notes that much more work needs to be done, especially to address acts of discrimination against trade unionists, and to effectively investigate and prosecute unfair labour practices in a timely and transparent manner.

The new progressive EU trade strategy focuses also on promoting EU values and responsible supply chains. The EU has a duty to shape globalisation in line with our own values and interests. The respect of social and labour rights is at the heart of our engagement with countries getting privileged access to the EU market. The Compact initiative is also an example that we can team up with other concerned partners and work towards promoting 'race to the top'.

The joint conclusion

Want to know more? Read the Commission paper on harnessing globalisation