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Pioneering job creation, social protection, and sustainable growth

Pioneering Job creation, social protection, and sustainable growth
Pioneering Job creation, social protection, and sustainable growth

In Bangladesh, the pursuit of decent work is at the forefront of national development agendas, reflecting the country’s dedication to addressing critical socio-economic challenges. Central to this effort are job creation, social protection, and fostering social dialogue, all aimed at promoting sustainable economic growth and aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) - Decent work and economic growth.

The priorities for Bangladesh have been meticulously chosen based on participatory assessments of prevailing challenges. These evaluations, involving a wide range of stakeholders, have identified high unemployment rates, particularly among youth with higher education levels, as a significant concern. Additionally, income inequality remains high and stagnant, productivity in certain sectors is low, and improvements in occupational safety, health, and working conditions have been sluggish. Moreover, opportunities for social dialogue in the country are inadequate, posing further obstacles to achieving decent work for all.

Bangladesh’s alignment with the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work agenda has seen the implementation of two Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCP) to date, covering the periods 2006-2009 and 2012-2015. These programmes have laid the groundwork for addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by the labour market. The current DWCP, which is aligned with both national policies and global initiatives such as the SDGs, focuses on four key areas: skills development and green growth, promotion of safe and clean working environments, social dialogue between government, employers, and workers, and social protection for all workers and vulnerable groups, including measures to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

One of the critical areas of focus in the DWCP is skills development and green growth. This involves equipping the workforce with the necessary skills to thrive in a rapidly evolving job market while promoting environmentally sustainable practices. By fostering green growth, Bangladesh aims to create jobs that contribute to environmental sustainability, thus ensuring long-term economic resilience.

Promoting safe and clean working environments is another cornerstone of the DWCP. Ensuring that workplaces adhere to safety standards and provide clean conditions is crucial for the well-being of workers. This not only enhances productivity but also reduces the risk of work-related injuries and illnesses, contributing to a healthier and more efficient workforce.

Social dialogue, which involves constructive conversations between the government, employers, and workers, is vital for addressing labour market issues. This dialogue helps in formulating policies that are inclusive and reflective of the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders. In Bangladesh, strengthening social dialogue is essential for fostering industrial peace and achieving consensus on key labour issues.

Social protection for all workers, especially vulnerable groups, is also a priority. This includes measures to safeguard workers from the adverse effects of climate change, which is particularly relevant in a country like Bangladesh that is highly susceptible to environmental impacts. By providing social protection, Bangladesh aims to ensure that all workers have access to basic necessities and are shielded from economic shocks.

The Decent Work Country Programme can significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of Bangladesh. By addressing the challenges identified through stakeholder consultations, the DWCP aims to create an inclusive and resilient labour market. This, in turn, will drive economic growth, reduce inequality, and improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Bangladesh’s commitment to the ILO’s Decent Work agenda and the implementation of the DWCPs reflect a comprehensive approach to tackling labour market challenges. By focusing on skills development, safe working environments, social dialogue, and social protection, Bangladesh is paving the way for sustainable economic growth and aligning with SDG 8. This commitment not only enhances the country's socio-economic fabric but also sets a precedent for other nations striving to achieve decent work for all.

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