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Bangladesh may conduct study on child labour in RMG
Nov '11
Bangladesh may conduct a survey on the presence of child labour and forced labour at any stage of production in its readymade garment (RMG) industry.

In view of the ongoing talks between the US and Bangladesh over signing of Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (TECF) pact, the Bureau of International Labour Affairs of US Department of Labour has asked ICF Marco, an international survey organization to conduct a study to find out whether any child or forced labour is employed in the garment manufacturing industry in Bangladesh.

The issue of labour standards remains an important matter in the negotiations for TECF, which aims to boost trade between the two nations.

ICF Marco has, in turn, engaged a Bangladeshi non-profit organization Research Training and Management International (RTM International) to carry out the survey.

Speaking to fibre2fashion, Mr. Syed Anwarul Islam, Executive Director (ED) of RTM International revealed, “There is a proposal from an American organization called ICF Macro to conduct a study on the existence of child and forced labour in the country's garment manufacturing sector.”

Talking about the present status of the survey, Mr. Islam said, “We have referred it to the Government and we shall conduct the survey only if we get the Government's approval. From the Government's point of view, there is no child labor in the country in the formal, organized garment sector.”

Describing the objective of the survey, he explained, “If we get approval from the Government, we would simply conduct a study to find out the socio-economic background and whether any child worker or forced labourer exists in any stages of Bangladesh's apparel production.”

“We would also survey the informal sector, where if we come across any child or forced labour, our objective will be to find out what necessitated the informal sector to employ child labour in spite of availability of adults for work. Our survey would be based on several parameters, including wage differences,” ED of RTM International added.

The garment sector is the major foreign exchange earner for Bangladesh. Around 5,000 readymade garment manufacturing units in the country provide employment to nearly four million people, about 80 percent of which are women.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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