Working conditions in Bangladesh’s apparel industry are “not always optimal” and the Western buyers are taking advantage of it, the Belgian Royal Palace has said during Queen Mathilde’s visit.
The Palace said in a tweet on Monday: “Working conditions in the textile sector are not always optimal in Bangladesh. Western companies are also taking advantage of this.”
“But many actors are now trying to change this by putting the well-being of workers at the centre of their activity. Like here,” it added, with a photo of the queen’s visit to the Fakir Apparels factory in Narayanganj’s Fatullah.
“The company aims to be a role model for the textile industry in Bangladesh and is committed to meeting all social, ethical and environmental standards,” the Palace said about the factory.
It also noted Bangladesh's textile and garment industry has become the second largest in the world in a few decades and the garment sector has become one of drivers of the country’s economy.
The queen walked through the factory corridors and talked to workers about their daily lives.
Queen Mathilde arrived in Dhaka on Monday morning on a three-day visit as one of the 17 SDG Advocates of the UN.
After the visit to the factory, she travelled back to Dhaka and spent some time with the children of a UNICEF learning centre at a slum.
The centre helps children who have dropped out of school to progressively re-enter the mainstream school system.
She also met the members of the local community.
The queen is scheduled to meet Myanmar Rohingya at a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday. She will also visit a UNDP project on water in Khulna.
The queen will meet President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.