The government has promised to produce the draft of the revised EPZ law before an International Labour Organisation committee by the end of November and that of the revised labour law by the end of December this year with necessary changes in the laws in line with the recommendations of the ILO. The government submitted the time-bound action plan to the two-day 106th International Labour Conference (ILC), which began Tuesday in Geneva of Switzerland in response to the call of the European Union regarding labour rights issues. Bangladesh promised that a draft of the new EPZ legislation would be shared by November 2017 after consultation with the ILO. Regarding the Bangladesh Labour Act, the government said that it was determined to take necessary steps to review the BLA to accommodate the observations made by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations and an advance draft would be shared with the ILO by the end of December this year. Recently, the EU asked Bangladesh to present tangible progress on fundamental labour rights issues in line with the recommendations of the ILO by August 31 this year. The EU, in a letter on May 31, provided a timeframe and asked Bangladesh to make changes to the Bangladesh Labour Act and the implementing rules and the Export Processing Zones law and to present the drafts of revised laws to the ILO Committee of Experts by August 31. The letter was issued in the wake of the third review meeting of Sustainability Compact held on May 18 in Dhaka. The economic bloc also said that making tangible progress in time was essential for Bangladesh to remain eligible for the ‘Everything But Arms’ regime in the economic bloc. Expressing dissatisfaction, the EU had said that Bangladesh did not give any reply to its previous letter issued on March 16 that asked Bangladesh to show tangible progress on labour rights issues before 106th ILC. In the ILC submission, Bangladesh has promised that further changes in the implementation rules would be made in line with the revised labour act. Following the review meeting of Sustainability Compact in Dhaka in May 18, where Bangladesh failed to provide any time-bound action plan to address ILO recommendations, some of the European Parliament members criticised the poor labour rights situation in the country and called for punitive measures. In response to the call, a draft resolution on implementation of the Sustainability Compact in Bangladesh has recently been placed before the EP, calling for extension of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a platform of EU buyers and brands working for RMG factory safety in Bangladesh, for five years, formation of wage board immediately and ensuring labour rights issues. The Committee on International Trade of the EP proposed the draft, which is scheduled for voting in the plenary today. Clean Clothes Campaign, the largest alliance of labour unions in the garment industry, on Tuesday called upon the members of the EP to call for a trade investigation into labour rights abuses as part of a resolution on Bangladesh that would be debated today. The CCC said that such an investigation would be carried out by the EU in order to assess whether the ongoing and systematic repression of trade union rights in Bangladesh should disqualify it from accessing preferential trading terms with the EU.