Seminar on "Implementing Labor Law in the RMG Sector of Bangladesh" at UAP
The Department of Law and Human Rights of the University of Asia Pacific has organized a seminar titled "Implementing Labor Law in the RMG Sector of Bangladesh" on 24 August 2015. Ms. Marion Champoux-Pellegrin, a student of McGill University, Canada presented a research paper conducted under the supervision of Dr. A N M Atahar Ali, Head of the Department, Department of Law and Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific.
Her findings suggest that the Bangladesh Labor Law 2006 significantly covers majority of the requirements of the different general codes of conduct. If a factory is 100% compliant to the national law, it will cover approximately 85% of the requirements of the other general codes of conduct. Hence RMG factories should be encouraged to improve their compliance with the national law as a first step towards meeting the compliance demands of the brands and retailers who they supply to.
This study clearly reveals that the revised Bangladesh Labor Law along with other supporting national legislations such as the Bangladesh Building Code and the Environmental Conservation Rules as well as the overall constitutional framework of Bangladesh, provides a comprehensive guideline for factories in the RMG sector to comply with majority of all international social compliance and environmental standards.
However, one of the main challenges is enforcing the laws. In order to do so effectively, awareness creation on the laws and standards is of paramount importance. Campaigns should focus on knowledge dissemination on the content, the implementation procedures and how to monitor and maintain the implemented status. Another critical aspect is training personnel such as the government's factory inspectors and the associations' social compliance monitors who are responsible for enforcing the correct implementation of the legislations and standards.
Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Vice-Chancellor of University of Asia Pacific, in his welcome speech of the seminar, has mentioned about a research which shows that the per square feet rent of the slums, where the laborers live in Kamrangi char, is higher than that of flats in the cities.
Deputy Director of Department of Labor (DOL) of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Mr. Abu Ashrif Mahmud has given detail information about the functioning of the DOL.
According to him out of 354 sections of the Labor Act 2006 only 56 are implemented by the Department of Labor while there are other five institutions working for implementation. Lack of manpower in particular, and resources in general, is a challenge to the department for the works. Most importantly the Department has no authority over inspection; it works for conciliation only. For this, it has to rely solely on another department for any prompt action to be taken.
Mr. Dylan Tromp, CSR Specialist of UNICEF spoke as panel speaker.
There were several of representatives from the Canadian Embassy and faculty members, researchers from different universities and organizations.
The Seminar ended with the vote of thanks given by Professor Dr. MR Kabir, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Asia Pacific.