Although many South and South East Asian countries have experienced economic growth in recent years, the working conditions are still deplorable. The high economic growth has reduced poverty, but at the same time the inequality is growing and many accepts work in the informal sector.
3F aims at improving the living and working conditions for the many workers in the textile and garment industry and supports a united and coordinated labour movement that is able to fight for their labour rights nationally as regionally. The programme in South and South East Asia focuses on strengthening national trade union federations for textile workers as well as clothing companies’ social responsibility, which 3F is actively trying to influence within the framework of Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In Bangladesh, disasters in the textile and garment industry, such as the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collaps, have created great awareness on the working and safety conditions and paved the way for international agreements to boost fire and building safety. Still, Bangladesh is criticized for lack of compliance with labour standards.
3F supports sister trade union federations to organise and train workers, enhance social dialogue, and advocate for compliance of labour rights through political advocacy. Additionally, 3F is in direct dialogue with clothing companies with production in Bangladesh, such as H&M and Bestseller to get the brands to require decent working conditions at the factory level.