Bangladesh a special labour legislation whereby basic

Bangladesh has ratified seven of the eight ILO core labour
conventions on freedom of association and the right to organize and collective
bargaining, discrimination and equal remuneration, child labour and forced labour.
It has not ratified ILO Convention No. 138 (1973), Minimum Age. In view of
serious violations of core labour standards in all the above areas, determined
measures are needed to comply with the commitments Bangladesh accepted at
Singapore, Geneva and Doha in the WTO Ministerial Declarations over 1996-2001
and in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The
right to form and join unions is not respected in practice, despite numerous
ILO criticisms. The right to strike is not recognized by law and workers are
regularly sacked, beaten or subjected to false charges for being active in
union activities. Export processing zones fall under a special labour
legislation whereby basic rights are not permitted. Recent attempts to change
the law to permit freedom of association in the zones have been the subject of
numerous proposed amendments from the ILO to bring the draft law into
compliance with international core labour conventions 87 and 98, which have yet
to be acknowledged by the government of Bangladesh.


The enforcement of legal instruments to tackle
gender discrimination is very weak and women suffer discrimination in a variety
of areas. Although primary education is free and compulsory, there are
inadequate mechanisms to achieve comprehensive education for all children.
Children often work at a very young age suffering serious injuries and
sometimes death in workplaces. They work as domestic servants and in sectors
such as leather or brick-breaking industries. Penalties against this practice
are negligible. The national law in Bangladesh bans forced labour. However, the
enforcement of these laws is poor. Forced labour has apparently disappeared in
large scale companies but not in other parts of the country. The national law
equally prohibits trafficking. Nevertheless, there is an extensive incidence of
trafficking among women and children, primarily to neighboring and Arabic

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