A day-long workshop on “Clean Clothes: Improve Occupational Safety and Health Compliances of Ready Made Garments (RMG) Workers in Bangladesh” will be held on Saturday, 24 October 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Organized by Diaspora organization, BASUG-Diaspora and Development e.V. and supported by the German development organisations, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Center for International Migration and Development (CIM), the program will start at 10:30 hours and ends at 16:30 hours.
Bangladesh Ambassador in Germany, Mr Muhammad Ali Sorcar and the Managing Director of ILD, Germany Mr. Lothar Kleipass will attend the workshop as chief guest and guest of honour respectively. Different stakeholders including development and civil society organisations, rights organisations, policy makers, garments buyers, consumers and Bangladeshi migrant community members are expected to attend the program.
Ready Made Garments (RMG) sector is significantly important in Bangladesh, both economically and socially. Nearly 4.2 million workers are employed in 5400 RMG factories across the country, mostly women, and again half of whom come from rural areas. RMG sector is the biggest export earner of Bangladesh with $24.49 billion of exports in the last financial year (July 2013-June 2014). Despite the huge growth of this sector and its bright prospects, there are challenges too. One of the biggest challenges being faced by RMG factories is to ensure workplace safety and better working conditions for the workers. Lack of safety compliances in RMG factories caused two grave incidents in recent past in Bangladesh- one the fire incident at Tazreen Fashions Factory in Savar near Dhaka killing 117 workers and injuring 200 others, and collapse of Rana Plaza Complex, also in Savar, killing 1126 workers and thousands injured in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The RMG workers, mostly women also face many problems in the working places including safety and health risk, social risk, sexual violence etc.
The workshop in Berlin is a part of the on-going 18 months Project on textile sector in Bangladesh. BASUG with support from GIZ and CIM, Germany has been working on ‘Safety and health compliances’ issues to create awareness and improve occupational safety and health compliances in the RMG sector and ensure social security of the RMG workers in Dhaka and Chittagong, capital and port city of Bangladesh.