Despite progress in safety standards, textiles facing sustainability challenges: Speakers
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Despite progress in safety standards, textiles facing sustainability challenges: Speakers

Despite making progress in safety standards and green technological shifts, the textile sector is still facing challenges related to human rights and environmental sustainability, speakers said at a meeting on Thursday.

The participants at the meeting recognised the importance of addressing issues associated with worker rights and environmental sustainability.

The programme was organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) and the Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO, in partnership with German-based development organisation FEMNET, at the conclusion of the Container Group Meeting on ‘Strengthening Due Diligence Implementation in the Textile Sector in Bangladesh.’

The meeting focused on enhancing due diligence practices to improve working conditions for Ready-Made Garment (RMG) workers and mitigating adverse health and environmental impacts.

The core aim of this initiative was to significantly enhance the working conditions for RMG workers in Bangladesh. Additionally, the project sought to address health and environmental challenges, promoting a more sustainable and ethically responsible industry.

Syed Marghub Murshed, Chairperson of ESDO and former Secretary presided over the meeting.

Environment Specialist of ICT Division of Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority, Md Billal Hossain attended the meeting as a special guest. He stressed the importance of enhancing medical facilities for workers to improve productivity and reaffirmed his commitment to upholding workers’ rights.

International Labor Organization (ILO) expressed gratitude for this initiative aimed at protecting the environment and supporting the RMG industry of Bangladesh, thereby contributing to the country’s economy. The ILO remains committed to ensuring all legitimate rights and privileges of garment workers.

The Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) approved and supported this initiative towards enhancing sustainability and relevance within the trade organisation.

Director of BILS, stated, “This initiative is committed to improving labor standards and ensuring the rights of workers are upheld. It represents a significant step towards achieving these goals.”

ESDO Secretary General Shahriar Hossain addressed the environmental risks inherent in textile production.

He underscored the critical roles that ESDO and BILS play in Community-Based Monitoring (CBM) and Worker-Based Monitoring (WBM), respectively.

They suggested including sectors beyond the textile industry, emphasizing the responsibility of these sectors for environmental pollution, and improving health facilities for the workers’ community.

This event highlighted the Container Group’s active involvement in improving the working conditions of textile garment workers, demonstrating a united effort to foster a safer, more sustainable industry.

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