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EU mulls action to ensure safety in Bangladesh factories
May '13
The European Union is considering appropriate action to ensure that factories in Bangladesh comply with international labour standards.
“As Bangladesh’s largest trade partner, the European Union is very concerned about the labour conditions, including health and safety provisions, established for workers in factories across the country,” Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht said in a joint statement.
The statement came a week after the collapse of Rana Plaza building containing garment units in Savar, on the outskirts of Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on April 24, 2013.
In their statement, the duo expressed deep sorrow for the terrible loss of life in the disaster. “This tragedy is all the more shocking as it follows textile factory fires in Bangladesh in recent months which have killed more than a hundred workers,” they added.
“In light of all these events, the European Union calls upon the Bangladeshi authorities to act immediately to ensure that factories across the country comply with international labour standards including International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions,” the statement said.
According to the release, the EU is presently considering appropriate action, including through the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) – through which Bangladesh currently receives duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market under the ‘Everything But Arms’ scheme – in order to incentivise responsible management of supply chains involving developing countries.
While expressing the EU’s readiness to assist the Bangladeshi authorities in any way it can to meet the required international standards, the release says the EU continues to encourage European and international companies to promote better health and safety standards in garment factories in Bangladesh in line with internationally recognized Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) guidelines.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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