Bangladesh workers form human chain on World Human Rights Day
On the 10th of December, over 100 garment workers organized a human chain in Dhaka to mark World Human Rights Day. The National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) demanded the right to freedom of association and the right to organising and collective bargaining under ILO conventions 87 and 98. They also called for the ratification of ILO convention 135 on the protection of workers representatives.
Speakers highlighted that despite the garment industry being the largest sector in Bangladesh - there are over 5000 factories and 4 million workers in the sector - the absence of trade union involvement at factory level means that workers are inadequately represented and that their right to collective bargaining and organising is jeopardised. Despite some positive steps in the right direction, there are many parts of Bangladesh labour law which are in contravention of ILO standards. The right to freedom of association, organising and collective bargaining are far from being universally respected in Bangladesh.