Bangladesh is the second most important sourcing country for participants of FTA’s Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). The boom of the Ready Made Garment (RMG) industry, coupled with increased globalisation and foreign investment, have facilitated the country’s growth in the past decades. But for this progress to be sustainable the Bangladeshi government must tackle outstanding challenges, the respect of human rights and protection of the environment among others.
FTA has been an active supporter of all initiatives created to assist the country in this endeavour and commends the work done by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to promote policies that contribute to this goal. FTA highly welcomes the agreement recently reached by the UN agency, Germany and the Government of Bangladesh to collaborate in the development of an Employment Injury Insurance (EII) Scheme for Bangladesh. Earlier this year, we already stressed the importance of investing in a mechanism that protects workers and avoids having to set up exceptional measures for compensating victims. In addition, the recent project established by ILO and Sweden to promote social dialogue in the RMG sector will enhance workplace rights and improve the exchange of views between employers and employees, working towards the improvement of labour conditions.
To tackle this and other pressing labour issues, BSCI engages with local and international stakeholders in addition to facilitating social compliance audits and conducting regular capacity building activities for participants and business partners. In 2014, a stakeholder roundtable was organised in Dhaka, and a follow up meeting will take place on 12 October 2015 under the title Capacity Building – Blessing or Curse for the Bangladesh RMG and Leather Industry? FTA Director General, Christian Ewert, will attend this event and meet with relevant representatives of trade union, local government and factory management to discuss the country’s approach to making the country’s development more sustainable.