The government, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and representatives of the European Union, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden pledged their commitment to advancing decent work in Bangladesh during a signing ceremony on a joint development project.
The proposed project, “Advancing Decent Work in Bangladesh” covers 2023-2027 with an estimated total budget of €23 million, and also reflects the shared priorities of the Government, employers, and workers’ organizations in Bangladesh, said a press release.
Tuomo Poutiainen, country director of ILO, stated that it aimed to support more female and male workers enjoying decent work through improved policies and laws, accountable, gender-responsive, and inclusive labour market institutions; and sustainable business practices contributing to the competitiveness of industries.
Labour and Employment Secretary Ehsan-E-Elahi, said: “The project aligns with national development frameworks, including the Roadmap and National Action Plan on the Labour Sector (2021-2026), and contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF, 2022-2026), ILO Decent Work Country Program (2022-2026) and the Sustainable Development Goal targets.”
He assured that in the next four years, the government will support project implementation to promote decent working conditions and equal access to opportunities for all, but also to advance national ambitions around economic growth and international trade.
The signing was witnessed by Helena König, deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service for Economic and Global Affairs.
She said the signing was “a pioneering commitment of the EU Global Gateway strategy by the Team Europe Initiative on Decent Work to support sustainable growth and inclusive human development in Bangladesh as the country moves to graduate from LDC status in 2026”.
Gwyn Lewis, the UN resident coordinator to Bangladesh, added that the joint efforts of the government, the ILO, and the Team Europe Initiative will contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8, which calls for the promotion of sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.