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Bangladesh continues to get GSP facilities in EU markets

European Ombudsman invalidated rights groups’ complaints against labor rights violation in Bangladesh

Recently four rights groups in the EU complaint against labor rights violation in Bangladesh and wanted Bangladesh’s GSP status given by the EU to be revoked. But the European Ombudsman has quashed the complaints and given verdict in favor of Bangladesh for continuing enjoyment of the GSP to the European markets.

Bangladesh-continues-GSP-facilities-EU
Figure: Based on the investigation, Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman, found no maladministration in the case against Bangladesh by four rights groups.

Based on the investigation, Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman, found no maladministration in the case against Bangladesh by four rights groups, according to the EU website on March 24.

About the verdict, in a statement EU said in October 2016, four trade union organizations wrote to the European Commission (EC) claiming that Bangladesh did not comply with its obligations in the area of vital labor rights.

They drew attention to very grave issues and urged the Commission to investigate this matter in the context of the GSP, the EU said in the statement on March 24.

Displeased with the fact that the Commission had failed to launch an investigation, the four rights groups — including International Trade Union Confederation, the Clean Clothes Campaign and HEC-NYU EU Public Interest Clinic – turned to the Ombudsman in June 2018.

The Ombudsman said that the complainants do not want the Commission to enforce trade sanctions.

Commenting on the issue, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President were Rubana Huq ecstatic.

“It is very good news for Bangladesh as sometimes we are blamed for bad practice of labor rights by different quarters and Bangladesh is again saved from the bad name of unfair labor practices due to this verdict,” Rubana Huq said.

It is to be noted that, the European Union (EU) is the largest export destination –grabbing 6.4% of the more than US$460 billion global market share of apparel items of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been enjoying the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) of the EU since 1971.

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