Better Work Bangladesh


About the programme

  • Now the country’s largest export earner, the garment sector in Bangladesh employs over 3.5 million workers – of which 80% are women – in 3,500 factories. Bangladesh currently ranks as the second largest exporter of ready-made garments in the world. In 2013, garment exports are estimated at US$21 billion
  • Better Work Bangladesh opened in 2014 as part of a package of ILO initiatives aimed at improving the country’s ready-made garment industry conditions in the wake of major industrial disasters, the Tasreen factory fire and the Rana Plaza collapse.
  • Operations are initially covering factories in two areas of the Greater Dhaka region with high factory density, with plans to scale up to 500 factories.
  • Better Work Bangladesh is part of the ILO project entitled “Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector” designed to support the National Tripartite Plan of Action on Fire Safety and Structural Integrity in Bangladesh.
  • As part of setting up the programme, Better Work asked the government of Bangladesh to address a number of risk factors to make operations more successful. To this end, labour law amendments were made and improvements were made to union registration criteria. This led to approximately 150 new factory-level unions being registered.
  • Additionally, The Government of Bangladesh is linking continuing implementation of the Better Work programme in the country to progress being made in key areas such as how the newly adopted labour law amendments are put into practice.


See a current list of all programme donors here