Specialized Labour Institution

Empower Workers, Promote Decent Work & Sustainable Development

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Promotion of Decent Work for Agriculture Workers in Bangladesh

For development of the agriculture workers under Habigonj district OSHE directing the 'Agriculture Workers Development Project'. It has started its journey at Chunarughat as a pilot project on 1st May 2014 in first phase and now it is conducting its activities in second phase.

The main objectives of this project is “ to improve labour standards as recognized by International Labour Organization, improve working conditions and better health & safety practises, to link agriculture workers with resources and system of agriculture department as well as government and non-government organizations, engage government to recognize these organization, raising awareness and solidarity among the agriculture workers”.

Landless, Sharecroppers and marginal female and male agriculture workers of Habiganj are the target people of this project. According to the experiences & successes from this project OSHE would be gradually expand its activities at other upazilla’s of Habiganj and whole country.

OSHE with the collaboration of FNV is implementing a project titled “Promotion of Decent Work for Agriculture Workers in Bangladesh” at Chunarughat upazilla in Habigonj from 1st of May 2014 with the objective of development action towards promotion of labour standards and decent works at agriculture sector of Bangladesh, Organize the agriculture workers, build solidarity among them. Ensure their rights and advance social dialogue; development of new policy and legal tools to address decent work elements for the agriculture workers and improve awareness and sensitize among them on various issues; and improve health and safety practises at workplaces with social protection measures.

Round Table Discussion on Ensuring Decent Work for Agriculture Workers in Bangladesh:

Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation (BLF) in association with Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) organized a round table discussion on Ensuring Decent Work for Agriculture Workers in Bangladesh at VIP Lounge, National Press Club, Dhaka on 15 March, 2015. Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Md. Mujibul Haque MP presented as Chief Guest.

Mikail Shipar, Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Chairman of BLF, Mr. Abdus Salam Khan presided over the seminar while chairperson of OSHE Mrs. Saki Rezwana moderated. President of Jatio Sramik League Mr. Shukkur Mahumd, President of Bangladesh Trade Union Centre Dr. Wajedul Islam Khan, General Secretary of BLF, ZM kamrul Anam, Wilma Roos from FNV Nederland attended the seminar. Representatives from Bangladesh Khet Mojur Samity, BAFLF, Nijera Kori, Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, BLAST, BBS, PROSHIKA, World Vision, Karmajibi Nari and many others organization joined the event.

Formation of ward level organizing team:

670 agriculture workers have been organized under 30 no. groups at 27 wards under 9 Union Parishads (UP). Formation of 15 nos. ward level group under 9 UP at Chunarughat in Habigonj with using local strategy on organising agriculture workers under cooperative model among those groups 03 nos. are exclusive woman group. Each ward level group have 16-30 members. On an average 30% to 35% at each group members are female.  

Policy Advocacy Program:

A policy advocacy paper on agriculture workers rights issue has been developed and using as campaign tool for lobbying with government and other relevant stakeholder (i.e. parliament members and local government reps). A High level National Campaign Committee (NCC) has been established under the reporting period with the representative of OSHE and BLF towards running the joint advocacy and actions at national and sector level.A joint recommendation letter from OSHE and BLF has been submitted to the government for inclusion of agriculture workers rights issues at the the draft labour rules of Bangladesh.

Field level OSH trainers’ development:

18 nos. of workplace level OSH trainers and activists has been trained-up from the conducted course on OSH activities at Chunarughat under the reporting period. They are now capable of running study circle on OSH and various agriculture related issues for their members as well as other agriculture workers.

Training on labour rights issue and organizing:

150 rank and filed level agriculture workers (potential members) at village level received training on labour rights during the reporting period. As an impact of activities solidarity among the agriculture workers is increasing and awareness building on rights issues.

Basic organizers’ training:

Under the perioring period, 18 nos. Of local organizers and 6 core organizers in Chunarughat was trained up on organizing and other labour rights relavent issues.

Impact of OSHE interventions for agriculture workers:

  • Better awareness on occupational safety and health
  • Use of environment friendly pesticides
  • Good knowledge and awareness on health & sanitation
  • The workers showed interest in getting membership with association /trade union and culture of collective actins promoted
  • OSHE documentation findings on occupational accidents were published both at national and international newspapers

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