In an ambitious new initiative to improve labor conditions for Bangladesh garment workers, a three-day course for new labor inspectors was recently provided under the auspices of the International Labor Organization and the Deutsche Gesellschaft FÃ¼r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Dhaka, the nation’s capital.
Among the major objectives of the training is to achieve sustainable reform in Bangladesh’s factory inspection procedures after a series of fatal factory disasters —notably the Rana Plaza collapse and the Tarzeen factory fire — pointed to the urgent need for new approaches to this old problem.
The classes also instructed inspectors on how to work within the law, including labor law, and in accordance with the demands of the Bangladeshi economy.
Emphasis was given to workers’ rights, the establishment of transparent and credible labor inspection protocols and rigorous inspection techniques.
Forty-one newly-recruited inspectors took the classes, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and will undergo continued training.
The inspectors will work for the Bangladesh Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE).
“The recruitment of the 41 new Labor Inspectors and their ongoing training is a significant milestone to reduce the risk of future tragedies in the ready-made garments sector,” said Srinivas Reddy, ILO Country Director at the ceremony launching the program.
“It is an important fulfillment of governments’ commitment to improve labor standards and implement national legislation.”
Bangladesh is a major manufacturing source for U.S. and foreign customers because of its low costs, high quality and quick turnaround. The nation is the world’s second largest apparel exporter after China, with some four million workers in the industry, with apparel exports a substantial part of its economy.