New amendments in the labour law- is it a reflection of our commitment to the Global Deal?
Tasmiah Nuhiya Ahmed : In too many places around the world, workers are denied basic human rights and some are even persecuted and killed. Whereas the truth is access to more and better jobs is the key to improving living conditions and achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Employment is the link between economic development and poverty reduction of any country and hence the government of Bangladesh is actively working on promotion of full and productive employment and ensuring decent work for all.
There is a global partnership platform, jointly launched by Sweden, International Labour Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the year 2016. It was built with the objective of jointly addressing the challenges in the global labour market and enabling all people to benefit from globalization. This organization has been formed in line with Goal 17 (“partnerships for the goals”) in the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. It is also a concrete input to several of the other goals, not least goal 8 on decent work and inclusive growth and goal 10 on inequalities. It aims to encourage governments, businesses, unions and other organisations to make commitments to enhance social dialogue, which may include all types of negotiation, consultation or exchange of information between or among representatives of governments, employers and workers on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. It intends to bring together various stakeholders to promote joint solutions while still representing their different interests. This platform believes that effective social dialogue can contribute to decent work, quality jobs and increased productivity and by extension to greater equality and inclusive growth, which offers a win-win-win opportunity for all actors on the labour market. Effective social dialogue requires mutual respect and trust to create favourable conditions for collaboration between employers, workers and governments. This can lead to peace in the labour market, promote competition and enhance economic stability and shared prosperity (THE GLOBAL DEAL PARTNERSHIP, http://www.theglobaldeal.com/).
Bangladesh had joined as a signatory to this platform and had submitted the country’s commitments to the Global Deal. The government of Bangladesh has recently approved a draft of the Bangladesh Labour (Amendment) Act, 2018. As it appears that this draft of the Act of 2018 aims to make labour law worker-friendly while regulating the conduct of workers and owners in compliance with the standards of ILO. We hope that through enacting this law and ensuring proper implementation of the same, we would be able to meet up the targets of goal no. 8 of the 17 SDGs for the period 2015-2030, which speaks for promoting, sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; full and productive employment; and decent work for all.
The writer is an Executive Editor, The New York Times, Bangladesh National Section