ILO in Bangladesh

  • After the Rana Plaza collapse, the Government of Bangladesh inspected 1,549 garment factories under its National Initiative and established a Remediation Coordination Cell (RCC) in May 2017 to oversee remediation work in these factories.

    ILO is supporting the operations and capacity building of the RCC and its member bodies under its “Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector in Bangladesh” programme funded by Canada, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

  • To review RCC’s business process and the existing partnerships among its key stakeholders, a technical workshop was organised by the ILO and the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) on 29-30 August 2018.

    Additionally, the workshop explored opportunities for strengthening the RCC through knowledge transfer.

  • Labour and Employment Secretary Ms. Afroza Khan formally opened the workshop and stated the government’s vision to transform the RCC into an Industrial Safety Unit (ISU).

    The ISU will be established based on competencies acquired through RCC’s operation and knowledge sharing with the Accord, Alliance and other safety initiatives.

  • The RCC is designed as a temporary structure staffed by personnel from different national regulatory authorities. Adequate cooperation and collaboration among these stakeholders is the key to its operations.

    Representatives from DIFE, Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD), RAJUK, Chittagong Development Authority, Public Works Department (PWD), Office of the Chief Electrical Inspector (CEI), BGMEA, BKMEA and BUET joined the workshop and discussed the support they would need and provide to each other.

  • Workshop participants recognised the importance of setting a clear business process of the RCC specifying the roles and responsibilities of RCC engineers as well as the mode of collaboration between public and private sector engineers to monitor remediation progress.

  • A ‘Remediation Tracking Module’ for recording remediation progress was presented at the workshop.

    The app-based database has been developed to facilitate better coordination in inspection visits and provide real time data for follow up and reporting.

  • Workshop participants reviewed a compliance escalation protocol which sets out the steps to be taken should any garment factory fail to carry out remediation.

    Members from BGMEA and BKMEA agreed to follow up on remediation completion timelines given to factories.

  • It is intended that the RCC will eventually absorb non-remediated factories under the Accord and Alliance when it acquires the capacity to do so.

    An Accord delegation shared its experience on remediation monitoring and expressed Accord’s willingness to handover its functions to a capable regulatory body.

  • The ILO Country Director in Bangladesh, Tuomo Poutiainen concluded the workshop proceedings.

    He said “Initial capacity of the RCC has been developed, but it will take some time to make this capacity sustainable. It is important that Accord works closely with the government to ensure smooth transition of the RCC into an effective, credible, transparent, and accountable industrial safety entity.”

  • Inspector General of DIFE, Shamsuzzaman Bhuiyan presented a draft organogram of the ISU which DIFE has submitted to the Ministry of Establishments for comments.

    The ISU will oversight industrial safety in all exporting and domestic industrial sectors in Bangladesh.

Multimedia

  1. Browse our photos from Bangladesh

    Working lives in Bangladesh

  2. Watch our videos on Youtube

    Introducing the Bangladesh labour inspectorate

  3. Women inspectors reach out to workers on the factory floor

  4. 10 tips on workplace safety