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Bangladesh faces scrutiny from ILO regarding the country's labour conditions

by Reporter - Mar 13 159 Views 0 Comment

Western countries have brought up concerns regarding the labour conditions in Bangladesh during the ongoing session of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 


According to their statement, the labour law reform that addresses labour rights and prevents attacks and torture of workers has not been implemented.


During the session, India, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran commended the government's efforts to enhance the labour conditions in Bangladesh.


On Tuesday, the 350th session of the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland, included a review of the labour situation in Bangladesh. The session will be live-streamed on the internet.


During the initial discussion, the law minister, Anisul Huq outlined the actions Bangladesh had implemented that aligned with the ILO roadmap. In a recent statement, he emphasised Bangladesh's dedication to amending labour law and highlighted the importance of international recognition for the country's efforts to improve the situation. He also warned of a potential confidence crisis with global partners, such as the ILO, if these initiatives are not acknowledged.


During the previous session, Richard A. Adezola, President of the Governing Council of ILO, initiated the conversation about Bangladesh. Discussing the Bangladesh report submitted to the ILO on 29 January; it was noted that Bangladesh had shown a solid dedication to essential reforms, such as amending the labour law, in line with the commitments made to the ILO from 2021 to 2026.


Following this, the President of the Governing Council of ILO requested the Law Minister of Bangladesh to deliver a speech. The Law Minister emphasised Bangladesh's actions in line with the written report during his speech. He conveyed confidence in the possibility of revising the labour law during the upcoming session of Parliament.


Anisul Huq mentioned that the new government is dedicated to enhancing the labour situation in Bangladesh across four key areas outlined in the agreement with the ILO.


Bangladesh faces significant challenges in improving its current situation. There is a concern that Bangladesh's efforts may not be adequately acknowledged, leading to a potential loss of confidence in the partnership if improvements are forced without considering the progress already made. Bangladesh deserves recognition for its commitment.


Following the incident, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, European Union (EU), and Argentina posed inquiries regarding the labour conditions in Bangladesh.


According to Jeffrey Vogt, director of the United States-based international labour organisation Solidarity Centre, workers in Bangladesh lack the freedom to join trade unions. The engagement rate for bargaining is significantly low. There is a continuous struggle for workers who are frequently subjected to different types of violence. There are multiple forms of discrimination against female employees. The changes in Bangladesh's labour laws are limited.


 Renate Hornung-Draus from Germany, a member of the ILO's Governing Council, commended the actions that have been implemented and called for enhancements in the labour conditions in Bangladesh.


Representatives from India, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran acknowledged the measures implemented by Bangladesh. A proposal has been made to drop the charges against Bangladesh for allegedly failing to comply with Charters 81, 87, and 98 under Article 26 of the ILO.


In a recent statement, Law Minister Anisul Huq revealed that Bangladesh has been involved in the hearing process multiple times over the past two and a half years. During this period, the labour situation in Bangladesh has been brought to the forefront. The individual asked for the pending issue of Bangladesh not to be viewed as a complaint. He asked to retract the complaint about Bangladesh's compliance with the ILO Charter.


A report on the progress of labour conditions in Bangladesh as per the ILO roadmap is needed for the upcoming 352nd session of the organisation in October-November.

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