ILO Director-General Guy Ryder hails working conditions progress in Bangladesh

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has praised progress made by Bangladesh to improve working conditions and grow its economy while calling for the benefits of development to be shared fairly.

News | 13 December 2016
ILO Director General Guy Ryder meets RMG factory safety Committee members ©ILO

“Since 2013 Bangladesh has come a long way to make its garment industry safer and to improve working conditions. We can be positive about the progress made but the job is not yet finished,” he said.

Mr Ryder also reflected on the economic development of Bangladesh. “Your country’s achievements have been considerable. But as the nation moves towards middle income status it should seek to ensure that its economic dynamism is matched by social progress. A fair sharing of the benefits of growth across the population of Bangladesh will be important to the sustainability of the process,” he added.

Mr Ryder was speaking following a four-day visit to Bangladesh that took place from 10 to 13 December 2016.

During his stay, Mr Ryder met the Hon. Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and also discussed a variety of work-related issues with Government ministers, workers’ and employers organisations as well as development partners.

Mr Ryder took part in the Ninth Global Forum for Migration and Development and the Dhaka Summit on Skills, Employability, and Decent Work 2016 held as part of the ILO’s Future of Work initiative. He also attended the launch of a new ILO project funded by Sweden and Demark which aims to build social dialogue and harmonious industrial relations in the Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry.

The launch was held of a new skills programme funded by the European Union which will continue reforms to the skills development sector. In addition a Memorandum of Intent between the Government of Bangladesh, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the ILO was signed to continue their joint efforts to improve working conditions in the RMG sector. This was witnessed by Canada, which along with the Netherlands and UK has supported the earlier phase of these efforts.

Mr Ryder also visited two RMG factories where he had the chance to see some of the work undertaken over the past three years to improve factory safety and talk with members of management, unions, workers and Safety Committees.