ILO wants BD EPZ labour law draft before enactment

ILO wants BD EPZ labour law draft before enactment

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AKM Moinuddin, UNB Staff Writer
Dhaka, Jun 16 – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for an advance copy of the draft Bangladesh Export-Processing Zones (EPZ) Labour Act after a review through a multi-stakeholder approach.
It said the draft ‘should be shared’ with its Committee of Experts by August next well ahead of placing it before Parliament.The newly created Tripartite Technical Committee (TTC) for amendment of the Bangladesh Labour Act (BLA) has held its first meeting, indicting that work was being done to conform the legislation to ILO standards.
It has been asked to complete the work on preparing an initial draft by August 2017.
Both the Tripartite Consultative Council (TCC) and the newly created RMG Tripartite Consultative Committee (RMG TCC) will be supported by the ILO which will act as their secretariat, according to a report of the ‘Committee on the Application of Standards’ (Part-2) obtained by UNB.
The recently adopted standard operating procedures (SOPs) for registration has been implemented which reduced the timeframe for resolving issues concerning registration and the Bangladesh government should also reduce the registration rejection rate, according to Bangladesh part of the report.
A transparent remediation strategy with a timeline was to be developed and shared with the committee by the end of August 2017, the report said.
Access to further funding should be facilitated and recruitment of 169 labour inspectors finalised by June 2018. In conclusion, the Bangladesh representative reaffirmed the government’s commitment to a better and safer workplace for workers to uphold their right to collective bargaining, freedom of association and their right to strike for realising their legal demands.
Legislative amendments were ongoing and the government was also engaging with factory owners, businesses and buying houses to ensure that they follow good business practices and recognise that responsible behaviour by all stakeholders is a necessary factor for progress in that field.
Besides, commitment was also expressed to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all by 2030 in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The experts stated that Bangladesh sought continued cooperation, support and understanding from their international friends and partners in order to achieve that goal.
Tripartite consultation had been an integral part of the process of legislative reform, in compliance with ILO Conventions.
The initiatives of the government did not aim to curtail the authority of the labour inspectorate, but to make the inspection mechanism more transparent and accountable.
The government said inspection mechanism based on a computerised system would make the inspections more objective and targeted. The Bangladesh representative welcomed the decision taken by the government to have an institutionalised system to review the enforcement of labour laws in the SEZs.
The ILO should continue providing development cooperation and assistance to the government to complete the ongoing reform process and further promote labour standards in line with the ILO Conventions, Bangladesh said.

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