EU mission urges necessary reforms for human and labor rights in Bangladesh

Concerns over GSP facility in EU markets: Concerns raised by the EU on human rights and labor rights in Bangladesh

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In September 2021, the Ministry of Labor of Bangladesh published the National Action Plan on the Labor Sector of Bangladesh (NAP 2021-2026) after intensive and productive technical discussions with EU delegations, and Bangladesh is working accordingly.

“With regard to key concerns on labor rights, authorities in Bangladesh should accelerate the implementation of commitments on labor rights included in the NAP and the ILO Roadmap, and continue to report regularly on progress achieved in line with the timelines provided ” The EU report was read.

The ready-made garment (RMG) sector benefits the most from EU GSP facilities. Bangladesh earned US$46.99 billion from exports of RMG products in fiscal year 2022-23 and 50 percent of it came from the EU.

Farooq Hasan, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), an organization of RMG factory owners, told Prothom Alo, “I think there is nothing to worry about the EU’s GSP facilities at the moment because we are improving labor rights. are doing.” Gradually issues. Labor laws and rules were amended several times in the last 10 years and those amendments went in favor of the workers. Therefore, I do not think the EU will take any negative steps because if the GSP facility is removed due to labor rights issues, workers will suffer the most.

Khandakar Golam Moazzam, research director at the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), believes that the GSP facility could be at risk due to the EU’s concerns over human and labor rights issues. He told Prothom Alo that this assessment report could generate international pressure regarding the weakness of labor quality in Bangladesh. He said that there have been some improvements in the legal framework of labor rights, but human rights violations on various issues frequently appear.

Currently, as a quick measure, it is necessary to ensure freedom of expression in political domination and take initiatives to stop oppression on dissidents, Khandekar Golam Moazzam said, adding that it is also necessary to ensure legal assistance in lawsuits that are filed. Gone were the recent labor movements for wage increases, as well as the workers who were arrested in those cases.

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