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July 12, 2021

Bangladesh RMG workers targeted with Covid campaign

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a campaign amongst Bangladesh garment workers to make them aware of, and to help reduce, the Covid-19 risks they face in the workplace.

By Michelle Russell

The Behaviour Change Awareness Campaign launched in June in collaboration with international development organisation BRAC, to target at least 5,000 households in the RMG dense areas of Gazipur and Chattogram.

The initiative, covering a population of more than 20,000 people, is being funded by Denmark and Sweden. It is part of the ILO’s Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations (SDIR) project’s Covid-19 response work, jointly with the Department of Labour, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Workers Resource Centre (WRC).

The campaign was developed based on the findings of a pulse survey conducted on 300 garment workers to identify the gaps in understanding of Covid-19 risks and preventive measures.

With the tagline “Keep Corona away by knowing and complying”, the campaign aims to inform RMG workers their families and communities about Covid-19 symptoms to help change their behaviour for taking precautions and prevention measures against coronavirus as an urgent priority in everyday life. Special emphasis has been put on Covid-19 health tips for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

“As the second wave of Covid-19 continues to impact the garment industry in Bangladesh, personal and occupational protection against Covid-19 has become a key component in every effort to build back better from the pandemic. The campaign will complement the ILO’s ongoing support to the industry by creating awareness and providing advice to build safe and healthy practices that protect workers and encourage good public behaviour at large,” says Tuomo Poutiainen, country director of ILO Bangladesh.

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