ILO and IFC Help Improve Conditions for Factory Workers

Nov. 16, 2009
An innovative approach to supply chain relationships has shown that factories with improved compliance to labor standards are considerably more likely to survive the economic crisis.

Better Work, a joint program of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corp. (IFC), has been helping enterprises that are linked to global supply chains gain competitive advantage through better labor standards. The program – focused on industries such as agriculture, apparel, light manufacturing, transportation, construction and electronics – offers sustainable solutions that build cooperation between government, employer and worker organizations and international buyers.

On Nov. 19, a meeting of business executives, government officials, unions, employer organizations, opinion leaders and policymakers will take place at the IFC in Washington, D.C., to discuss the results of the program and its expansion. The meeting, “Harnessing Global Incentives for Development,” will explore strategies for using trade and supply chain relationships to improve working conditions and promote competitiveness in global supply chains.

The event marks the 10th Anniversary of the U.S./Cambodia Bilateral Textile agreement that helped establish Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) by offering bonus market access in exchange for improvement in labour standards.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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