EU: Debates Bangladesh safety and compliance issues
The European Parliament is to ask all factory owners in Bangladesh to review their safety procedures, and wants European garment brands to critically investigate their supply chains.
The discussions are part of a four-day session that ends on Thursday (17 January), and follows the clothing factory fire in Bangladesh that killed more than 111 workers in November last year.
Europe is Bangladesh's largest export destination, buying nearly 60% of its apparel products, and the talking points will also include pay, labour rights and corporate social responsibility in Bangladesh.
Parliamentarians will also ask retailers to cooperate with their subcontractors to improve occupational health and safety standards.
They also want all European retailers whose orders were being processed at Tazreen Fashion in Ashulia, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, to compensate the victims and their families.
"Such a system should cover the loss of income and damages for the injured and the families of the dead, as well as free medical rehabilitation for the injured and care and education for deceased workers' dependent family member," one of the resolutions said.
In addition, multinational companies, apparel brands and retailers will be called upon to join the Bangladesh fire and building safety agreement as a first step towards providing a framework of measures to help prevent future disasters.
The parliamentarians acknowledge that employment in the garment sector has helped millions of poor rural women in Bangladesh and elsewhere to escape deprivation and dependence on male support.
But they consider certain minimum safety and labour standards should be the norm worldwide.
Stakeholders will also be urged to combat corruption in the supply chain, which can endanger lives through falsified or unlawfully obtained safety certificates. And there will be a call to end restrictions on trade union activities and collective bargaining.
The European Parliament will send the resolutions to the Bangladesh government and EU Member States.
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