Labour Reform in Bangladesh: A Path to Sustainable Growth

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen highlights the significance of multi-stakeholder dialogues on labour-related issues in Bangladesh.

The recent national dialogue on 'Promoting Decent Work for Social Justice' in Dhaka brought together key players from the government, industry, and labour sectors to emphasize the country's commitment to labour reform. State Minister for Labour and Employment Nazrul Islam Chowdhury reiterated the government's dedication to promoting decent work and advancing social justice, ensuring that all workers' rights are protected and valued in Bangladesh's workforce. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen stressed the importance of multi-stakeholder dialogues on specific labour-related issues during the current government's five-year term. He highlighted that employment generation and decent work are top priorities integrated into Bangladesh's national development strategies, including the GB roadmap (2021-2026) and the National Action Plan on the Labour Sector (2021-2026). These principles are crucial for sustainable growth, increased trade, and investments in the country. The national dialogue aimed to engage stakeholders on key issues related to quality employment and decent work, aligning with Bangladesh's goal of sustainable graduation to an upper middle-income developing country by the end of the decade. Organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the dialogue fostered constructive conversations, knowledge-sharing, and partnership-building among government officials, employers, workers, think tanks, private sector representatives, and development partners. Mahbub Hossain, the Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, highlighted the concrete policies generated through joint efforts to improve the livelihoods of the workforce and safeguard their fundamental rights and safety in the workplace. ILO Country Director for Bangladesh, Tuomo Poutiainen, emphasized the importance of advancing key development goals, such as job creation, evidence-based wage policies, and robust Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) standards to support successful LDC graduation. The discussions at the dialogue focused on three key panel discussions: the Global Accelerator for Jobs, the development of an Evidence-Based National Wage Policy, and advancing OSH in Bangladesh. Stakeholders from the government, employers, and workers shared valuable insights, emphasizing the collective approach needed to ensure decent work and foster social justice in the country's labour sector. As Bangladesh prepares for its graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status, it faces critical challenges, including potential loss of GSP facilities, duty-free access for exports, and stricter WTO rules. The nation must comply with trade compliance requirements, including the EU's new due diligence laws, to promote responsible business conduct and sustainable sourcing practices throughout the supply chain. Moving forward, effective implementation of the Labour Sector Roadmap (2021-2026) and the National Action Plan (NAP) engaging employers' and workers' organizations will be crucial for Bangladesh's labour reform. Establishing a comprehensive national wage policy is essential to address wage disparities, ensure sufficient wages for a decent standard of living, and promote social and economic equity for workers and their families in the country. With a strong commitment to labour reform and sustainable growth, Bangladesh is poised to navigate the challenges ahead and create a more equitable and prosperous future for its workforce. Through collaborative efforts and strategic initiatives, the country can build a solid foundation for a thriving labour sector that upholds the rights and well-being of all workers.

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Arman Alif

Hi, Ali Rahman in the house! From Chittagong, Bangladesh, I've been on a wild ride from Banskhali Bangabandhu High School to Govt. Alaol College and beyond, landing me at National University. Now, I'm here to dish out the lowdown on national issues and global news. Stick around for a fresh take on what's shaking up our world! Connect With Me