Bangladesh needs to resolve rights issues to be eligible for GSP Plus: EU Parliament VP
The European Parliamentary Member on International Trade has suggested that Bangladesh needs to fix the human rights issues to be eligible for GSP Plus once the country graduates from LDC status.
"We have concerns over human rights abuses like the extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, shrinking civic space and so on," said leader of the delegation, Heidi Hautala who is also Vice-President of the European Parliament, at the DCAB Talk at National Press Club today (July 19, 2022).
She said Bangladesh has a labour road map and now it is high time that the authorities implement it.
She also spoke about the trade union rights that need to be ensured in the export processing zones.
The good thing is that Bangladesh has promised to ensure trade union rights in the EPZs, she said.
Hautala also said that Bangladesh must end child labour by 2025 as it prepares to get GSP Plus.
She also spoke of amending the Digital Security Act that has negative impacts on media and the right to freedom of speech.
EU is the largest export destination of Bangladesh. The export increased from euro 9 billion to euro 19 billion in 2019.
EU has been providing duty-free and quota-free access to Bangladesh. As Bangladesh graduates out of LDC, the facility will go away. However, the country can be eligible under the new privilege, GSP Plus, but that will require stringent conditions like improving human rights and labour rights.
The EU delegation is visiting Bangladesh to assess the country's situation.
The trade committee led by Heidi Hautala includes José Manuel García-Margallo, Sven Simon, Agnes Jongerius, Jordi Cañas and Maximilian Krah, according to a statement of the European Parliament.