Focused on promoting decent work, empowering women and inclusive economic growth, the programme has grown to include about 450 participating factories. Working with 48 brands and retailers, Better Work Bangladesh impacts around 1.3 million workers, 50 per cent of whom are women.
In its first phase (2014 – 2017), the programme worked with the Government of Bangladesh to better align the country’s labour laws with international labour standards and best practices. This was a period marked by labour law amendments and improvements in union registration criteria adhering to the ILO’s fundamental constitutions on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining. In Phase II (2018 – 2022), the programme expanded its operations from Dhaka to the port city of Chittagong. To respond to evolving industry needs, the programme adopted an agile service model and initiated several special initiatives, such as the Gender Equality and Returns (GEAR) programme, maternity health and protection initiatives and the Factory Ambassador Programme (FAP).