Improving Respect for Workers’ Rights in Bangladesh

Project Duration
October 2022
September 2026
Funding and Year

This project aims to improve labor conditions in the construction, garment, shrimp farming, and tea sectors, with a focus on gender-based violence and harassment, occupational safety and health, and climate change and environmental degradation.

The Problem

In Bangladesh, millions of workers face unsafe working conditions and cannot exercise their labor rights. Tea and shrimp farming workers, who are mostly women, are exposed to health hazards, long hours, and gender-based violence and harassment; and construction workers suffer frequent injuries and accidents. Despite international attention to occupational safety and health (OSH) violations in apparel factories after the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse, garment workers continue to experience labor rights abuses, including suppression of the right to freedom of association and poor OSH conditions. Many companies that violate worker rights also operate facilities that pollute workplaces and the surrounding environment, making production in the target sectors both an OSH and an environmental issue for workers and their communities. Furthermore, Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to climate change, experiencing extreme weather events, such as cyclones, floods, and landslides.  

Our Strategy

To improve respect for workers’ rights in the target sectors, this project will:

  1. Support worker organizations to train, represent, and advocate for workers;
  2. Strengthen the engagement of workers and worker organizations with government authorities and employers to address workers’ grievances, including those related to OSH conditions and gender-based violence and harassment; and 
  3. Promote safer, healthier, and more equitable workplaces and communities.