Bangladesh to discuss labour rights today
The government is going to hold a dialogue today on the latest labour rights situation as both the US and the European Union (EU), two major export destinations, are putting pressure for implementing commitments made in a National Action Plan (NAP).
Three senior secretaries of the ministries of commerce, labour and foreign affairs will hold the dialogue with five foreign diplomats and representative of International Labour Organization (ILO) to discuss the progress in the NAP's implementation.
This dialogue was decided upon earlier to monitor the progress in remediation under the Accord and Alliance after the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013 when more than 1,100 workers were killed.
This year the dialogue did not take place as the progress was discussed in another event, said Senior Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh over the phone.
The progress discussion took place in a seventh round of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) meeting held between Bangladesh and the US in September in Dhaka, he said.
Different issues like the labour rights situation, progress in the NAP's implementation and an ILO road map will be discussed in the dialogue which is scheduled to be held at the commerce ministry office in Dhaka, Ghosh also said.
In 2021, Bangladesh adopted the NAP (2021-2026), which is closely linked to a roadmap on improving labour rights submitted by the government to the ILO's governing body.
The roadmap aims to improve the country's observance of labour rights including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
Last week the Bangladeshi mission in the Washington sent a letter to the commerce ministry expressing concern over possible measures by the US that could affect Bangladesh's overall trade.
In this regard, the mission cited US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken announcing a memorandum of American President Joe Biden on global labour rights on November 16.
Also last week, the EU expressed concern over the labour rights situation, questioning whether Bangladesh should continue to be eligible for duty preferences to the EU, its largest export destination.
This came up in the European Commission's assessment report on the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences programme published on November 21.