Freedom of association and the rights to collective bargaining in Bangladesh

Factory workers in Bangladesh
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The ILO is supporting efforts in Bangladesh to adopt and enforce labour law and policies which are in compliance with international labour standards. Specific challenges faced by workers’ and employers’ organizations are being addressed by building local capacity in relation to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Efforts are being made to ensure workers and employers have better knowledge and understanding of labour rights and responsibilities, both in law and in practice through a wide range of capacity building and outreach activities.

Actions are mainly focused on the export-orientated sectors namely ready-made garments, shrimp processing, shoes and leather. Government structures with a labour relations and compliance role are also being strengthened.
The ILO collaborates with a variety of partners in this regard including the Directorate of Labour, the National Coordination Committee on Workers Education (NCCWE), IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC), the Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF), Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers Exporters Association (BKMEA), the Leathergoods & Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) and the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA).

Meanwhile, in order to promote a legislative environment that is compliant with international labour standards, the ILO also lobbies as well as provides technical and legal input to the government.

Major ILO workers’ rights-related initiatives currently being carried out:

Promoting Social Dialogue and Harmonious Industrial Relations in Bangladesh Ready-Made Garment Industry