Executive Summary - Decent Work Country Profile - Bangladesh

Over the last two decades Bangladesh has been struggling hard to establish democracy and has undergone tremendous economic, social and political changes that have shaped the landscape for decent work in Bangladesh. The country has experienced a political transition to a more democratic system along with fundamental labour market reforms, including the adoption of Bangladesh Labour Law of 2006 which has consolidated all the earlier labour laws in the country. There has been steady progress in raising per capita income and significant achievement in poverty alleviation. However, poverty rates are still high in many parts of the country, and inequalities remain. Employment is mainly distributed among the agricultural and services sectors although its share in manufacturing has increased. Labour productivity has moderately increased over the last decade, but still lags behind other South Asian economies. With regard to education, significant progress has been achieved in reducing the percentage of children not attending school, while some advancement in adult literacy has also been observed. Bangladesh recognizes these problems and has adopted policy strategies in the Sixth Five Year Plan, (2011–2015), which focus on pursuing economic growth, alongside labour intensive investment, improving competitiveness, as well as poverty reduction measures. However, robust efforts should accompany these policy strategies in order to make them effective by including decent work indicators into the monitoring and evaluation systems, and national plans of action.