Efforts to try to improve labour standards in global apparel supply chains have been stepped up by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) with the latest phase of their 'Better Work' programme.

The partnership is aimed at improving the lives of about 1.2m workers in developing countries, and kicked off in the garment industries of Jordan, Vietnam and Haiti.

The second phase, which starts in July and runs for three years, will continue to focus on the apparel industry as well as extending access to Better Work tools for improving compliance with labour standards.

"Better Work is an important contribution to implementing the ILO's Decent Work Agenda and especially important in this time of economic crisis which puts workers and their families at risk," said George Dragnich, ILO executive director for social dialogue.