European envoys stress joint efforts to ensure factory safety
European envoys yesterday stressed joint efforts and commitments to ensuring factory and building safety and labour rights to improve working conditions in Bangladesh's garment sector.
The European Union is Bangladesh's largest trading partner, and so its representatives are concerned about the labour conditions, including the health and safety issues, EU Ambassador William Hanna said.
Hanna spoke at a press conference organised by the EU delegation and eight EU member states at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka, on the eve of Europe Day today.
British High Commissioner Robert Gibson, German Ambassador Albrecht Conze and Italian Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino, among others, spoke.
The envoys also urged the Bangladeshi authorities to act immediately to ensure that factories across the country comply with international labour standards, including the conventions of the International Labour Organisation.
Appreciating the outcomes of an ILO mission to Dhaka recently when a tripartite agreement was signed to improve the safety and rights of the workers, Hanna said the EU is ready to help Bangladesh meet the required international standards.
The German ambassador said international buyers, rights groups, governments, ILO and GIZ (German International Cooperation) are preparing a draft to address the challenges and ensure transparency in the production of apparel by controlling subcontracts and building structures.
Hanna appreciated Bangladesh's performances as the country saw record exports to the EU in the last two years despite economic challenges in Europe, but he stressed trade is linked with human rights.