The overarching goal of the project is to contribute to improved working conditions and rights of women and men workers

The overarching goal of the project is to contribute to improved working conditions and rights of women and men workers

A new project is about to get off the ground to promote decent work in Asian garment supply chains.

Set up by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the project will begin in January 2019 with a focus on South-Asia, South-East Asia and China, given their significant role in the international division of garment production.

"In many developing countries, global supply chains have created employment opportunities and have contributed to economic and social development," says Åsa Hedén, head of development cooperation Regional Asia and the Pacific, at the Embassy of Sweden, in Thailand. "There is also evidence, however, that the dynamics of production in global supply chains can have a negative impact on working conditions and workers' rights as well as environmental sustainability."

The overarching goal of the initiative is to contribute to improved working conditions and rights of women and men workers, as well as improved productivity and environmental sustainability.

It will be supported by governments, workers' and employers' organisations and other private sector organisations, and will focus on four main areas: social dialogue and industrial relations systems; advancement of gender equality; enhanced productivity and competitiveness; and reduced environmental impact.

The ILO says the project will contribute to better knowledge-sharing and synergies of action.

It is being funded by the Regional Development Cooperation Section of the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok and managed by the ILO regional office for Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with ILO country offices.