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Bangladesh: 398 domestic workers killed in 14 years

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by Fish Ip published Apr 28, 2015 05:58 PM
At least 398 domestic workers were killed in the last fourteen years while at least 299 workers were wounded and 100 female workers were sexually harassed in the country.

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According to a statistic of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies, in the last four years, 143 workers were killed and 104 workers were wounded. BILS revealed the information at a seminar on ‘Domestic Workers in Bangladesh: Tracing the Policy Process,’ at the National Press Club on Sunday. Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit and Domestic Workers Rights Network jointly organised the seminar.

BILS said there are about two million domestic workers in the Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan areas. Amongst them, 83 per cent are female, mostly children and young girls.

From the seminar, labour leaders and experts urged the government to give formal recognition to domestic workers by the upcoming May Day, as domestic workers remain outside the purview of Bangladesh Labour Act-2006. At the seminar, Dhaka University teachers ASM Ali Ashraf and Fahmida read out a keynote paper based on the findings of their recent research.

According to the findings, rural children are recruited as domestic worker by their relatives, neighbors and middlemen, and urban children were recruited as domestic worker by their parents. It said, fulltime workers are mostly migrants from rural or backward areas while part-time workers live with their family. Major tasks of female workers are washing dishes, cooking, serving food, washing clothes, babysitting for their employers’ children and cleaning floors, while male workers purchase daily essentials, clean floors, raise cattle and garden. The speakers at the seminar also demanded the government ensure the domestic workers’ contract, wage, appointment letter, leave and leisure, education and training, medical care, and termination of work, through formulating an act. Bangladesh has signed the International Labour Organisation’s general conference’s condition number 189 but has not ratified it.

Convention No-189 guarantees minimum labour protections to domestic workers at par with other categories of workers, while allowing for considerable flexibility in implementation. Over 15 labour organisations joined the programme where chief guest, lawmaker, Israfil Alam, promised to pursue formulation of an act in this regard.

Among others, RMMRU chairperson Tasneem Siddiqui, BILS joint secratery Zafrul Hasan, DWRN coordinator Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmed and deputy secretary of the ministry of labour and employment Aminul Islam also spoke at the programme. 

Source: New Age

Story Type: Update

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