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ILO raises awareness on Covid-19 among apparel workers

  • Published at 02:27 pm July 12th, 2021
rmg
Photo: DHAKA TRIBUNE

The campaign targets at least 5,000 households in the RMG-dense areas of Gazipur and Chittagong

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a Behaviour Change Awareness Campaign to identify and reduce the Covid-19 risks faced by ready-made garment (RMG) workers in their workplaces and communities. 

Launched in June in collaboration with Brac, the campaign targets at least 5,000 households in the RMG-dense areas of Gazipur and Chittagong.

Funded by Denmark and Sweden, the campaign is a part of the ILO's Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations (SDIR) project's Covid-19 response work, jointly with the Department of Labour, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Employers' Federation (BEF), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), and Workers Resource Centre (WRC).

According to a press release, the campaign is based on the findings of a pulse survey conducted on 300 garment workers, aiming to address gaps in the understanding of COVID-19 risks and safety measures.

The results of the survey called for an integrated Behaviour Change Campaign. An example of a finding would be that only 38.6% of the respondents recognized COVID-19 as a deadly disease.

With the tagline “Keep Covid-19 away by Knowing and Complying," the campaign aims to inform RMG workers, their families and communities about Covid-19 symptoms, along with the precautions and prevention measures. 

Special emphasis has been put on informing pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

“As the second wave of Covid-19 continues to impact the garment industry in Bangladesh, the campaign hopes to complement the ILO’s ongoing support to the industry by raising awareness about the pandemic, and advising safe and healthy practices to protect workers and encourage good public behaviour,” said Tuomo Poutiainen, country director of ILO Bangladesh.

Featuring a series of awareness-raising videos, posters, meetings and public service announcements, the campaign will run till the end of October 2021. 

Additionally included are community-level engagements, distribution of hygiene kits, and the dissemination of SMS and voice messages through mobile phones. All materials were produced in Bangla to ensure maximum wide reach across the target population.

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