IFC And ILO Launch “Better Work Vietnam”

IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, and the International Labour Organization today
launched the Better Work Vietnam program to improve working conditions for more
than 700,000 workers in the Vietnamese apparel industry and boost the
international competitiveness of the sector.

    The program
in Vietnam is being
implemented in partnership with and funded by MPDF, a private sector
development initiative in Vietnam,
Cambodia, and Lao PDR
managed by IFC, among the donors are Norway,
Sweden.

     Better Work
Vietnam is the largest of the country programs developed by the joint ILO-IFC
Better Work global program. This voluntary, industry-based initiative seeks to
strengthen relationships between international buyers, local enterprises,
governments and worker organizations to improve working conditions and
competitiveness.

    The program in Vietnam
will also aim to enhance enterprise performance and market access, create a
more cost-effective process for labor standards compliance, and assist the
government in improving labor standards and economic development.

    Rachel
Kyte, IFC’s Vice President for Business Advisory Services, said: “We are
excited about Better Work Vietnam. IFC’s experience shows that there is a clear
and strong business case for companies to effectively manage their social
risks. Better Work is an opportunity to demonstrate that responsible labor
practices have the potential to open export markets.”

    Gap Inc. is
one of several international buyers that are supporters of the program. “We
strongly support the expansion of efforts to Vietnam to improve working
conditions in the global supply chain,” said Dan Henkle, Senior
Vice-President for Social Responsibility at Gap Inc.

    “The Better Work
platform is a model that demonstrates how improvements are possible when the
right stakeholders are at the table.”

     Mr. Kari
Tapiola, Executive Director of the Standards and Fundamental Principles and
Rights at Work Sector of the ILO, said that “decent work is an essential
requirement for individuals, their associations and communities to build a
better future. Improving labor standards in global supply chains is vital to
achieving this. The ILO is enthusiastic about the Better Work program in Vietnam.”

 


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