The Bangladesh government is currently withholding permission for a United States-sponsored survey to check if child and forced labour is employed in the country's apparel sector, even though the local garment industry has no objection.

"The government should grant the permission", Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association told just-style. "Anyone can visit and check that there is no child labour in our industry".

However the survey is not likely to involve inspections inside export-oriented garment factories. Ahmed Wali, a senior official at RTM International, the local NGO sub-contracted to conduct the survey, told just-style that the assignment is to check child labour in more informal parts of the industry such as local tailoring shops.

Furthermore, he said that, "we would not proceed without an approval from the Bangladesh government", an application for which is pending.

Bangladesh and US have been negotiating a Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum pact for more than a year, where labour rights issues remain unresolved.

"We have reached consensus on almost all issues except that of child labour", Bangladesh's finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told journalists in August this year. "We will seek relaxation on this issue".

Subsequently, the US Department of Labour appointed ICF International, a Virginia-based consultancy firm to undertake a survey; it, in turn, engaged RTM.