The US government has welcomed the progress made by Bangladesh in addressing concerns over worker safety in the country’s garment factories.

In a joint statement following the Third US-Bangladesh Partnership Dialogue, the US acknowledged the progress made by the Bangladeshi government in establishing a preliminary online database of factory inspections.

It also welcomed the work done towards improving the capacity and resources of the country’s labour inspectorate, as well as efforts to hire new inspectors, carry out inspections, register new unions and drop cases against labour activitists.

But the US government added that both countries had agreed to address outstanding needs to safeguard labour rights and workers’ health and safety requirements.

Work would also continue on the Action Plan aimed at triggering the reauthorisation of Bangladesh’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits “at the earliest opportunity”.

The US government said it had given over US$10m in aid for worker safety and labour rights, with USAID planning to announce $5m in new funding to protect workers.