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Restore worker rights, UN tells Bangladesh

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has urged Bangladesh to ensure a decent wage for all workers, to revise its labor laws and to make haste with the adoption of a national employment injury scheme. The committee strongly recommended Bangladesh raise its minimum wages to ensure a decent living for all workers and their families and to reduce the gender pay gap.

In labor legislation, the committee says the Labor Act should be revised to ensure that its labor laws cover the whole industry, including the informal economy and export processing zones. The committee has called for independent and effective labor complaint mechanisms and strengthened labor inspection mechanisms and for a revision of procedures and requirement for trade union registration. At the moment, requirements are overly restrictive, while the registration process is arbitrary and rejection rates are high.

The committee recommends that cases of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and dismissal against trade union activists should be promptly and thoroughly investigated and trade union rights should be guaranteed. The perpetrators should be brought to justice and victims provided with adequate remedies. Bangladesh has been urged to speed up its commitment to adopt a national employment injury insurance scheme.

 
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