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ILO to expand Better Work programme in Bangladesh

By Simone Preuss

30 Sep 2016

Business

Ensuring greater social compliance and workers' rights, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) wants to expand the scope of its Better Work programme in Bangladesh. By June 2017, an additional 127 garment factories will be added to the programme.

By June 2018 , this number will increase to 225 and by 2021 to even 500 garment factories. Currently, 98 registered factories and almost 202,000 workers are part of the Better Work initiative, which Bangladesh joined after the Rana Plaza tragedy in 2013 that cost the lives of more than 1,100 workers.

According to the Better Work website, seven countries are currently part of the programme – Bangladesh, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Vietnam, encompassing a total of 1.300 apparel factories and around 1.75 million workers. The programme is sponsored by the ILO as well as the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

An independent, 5-year-study commissioned by the initiative found out that better working conditions are directly linked to better productability and profitability. "In an industry characterised by intense price competition, evidence that improving working conditions is not a cost but a critical component of business success is ground breaking,” it states.

Photo: betterwork.org