Bangladesh ranks among worst countries to work in due to meagre labour rights

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has ranked Bangladesh among the 10 worst countries to work in where there is absolutely no guarantee of labour rights, for fourth consecutive year since 2017.

The Global Rights Index pointed out the unruly conditions to work in Bangladesh due to violence, mass dismissals and regressive laws in the country.

The survey suggests that workers in Bangladesh work in poor conditions where they are unable to use their basic labour rights without a fear of reprisal and brutal suppression.

The index was conducted ranking 144 countries in one-five categories on basis of 97 international indicators to address working conditions across countries and whether they are protected by law.

Survey indicated a widespread trend in countries wherein multiple scandals involve union leaders’ governance surveillance instilling fear among workers. Bangladesh has a highlighted problem where labour unions are repressed and governments have no respect towards workers’ rights, nor is there any provision of dialogue for workers and their conditions.

Reports suggest that countries with rating of 5.0 are the worst countries to work in. Though there is a provision to provide worker rights under legislation, workers still have no access to their rights thus exposing them to unfair labour practices and autocratic regime.

Labour courts in Bangladesh have three year backlog with over 18,000 cases related to labour rights still pending.

Workers in Bangladesh face dangerous working conditions with meagre wages inspite of a small hike in prices. Country lacks proper laws regarding minimum wage regulation and protection of labour rights.

Reports suggest that the main reason of poor working conditions in Bangladesh is partially because of ignorance on part of employers and workers related to labour law enforcement, and partially due to lapse from side of government. The widespread issues like gender inequality, low wages, unhealthy working conditions, child labour and illegal activities lead to present working conditions in Bangladesh.   

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Dr. Neha Mathur

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