Facing up to globalisation while grappling with widespread poverty is one of the major challenges faced by Bangladesh. National constituents have identified four policy areas that are related to globalization, poverty reduction and decent work, and, within these areas, seven specific challenges that the Pilot Programme would try to address:
- Global competitiveness, employment and decent work
- Enhancing productivity and competitiveness while expanding employment and promoting decent work
- Managing industry restructuring while minimizing worker displacement and improving employment security - the RMG case
- Overseas employment
- Better management of labour migration to reduce exploitative practices while ensuring Bangladeshi workers' access to overseas jobs
- Social security for migrant workers
- Spreading the benefits of globalisation and growth to the poor
- Employment and PRSP - decent work as an explicit objective of the national poverty reduction strategy
- Development of a national social protection strategy
- Strengthening voice and representation of the informal economy
- Measurement of decent work
- Development of decent work indicators appropriate to the Bangladesh context
The threats and opportunities of globalization in Bangladesh illustrate many of the issues discussed by the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization (pdf). The Decent Work Programme is assisting national partners to develop national policy responses to globalization. Towards this end, the Programme undertakes empirical research and policy analysis to generate necessary information, provides a forum for policy dialogue and debate, assesses policy options and supports the design of policy in selected areas.
National ownership and direction are insured by an Advisory Body for the Decent Work Pilot Programme, formed by ILO constituents and officially established by the Ministry of Labour in May 2004. The Advisory Body consists of 5 representatives each from workers (NCCWE), employers (BEF) and the Government, which participates through the ministries of Labour, Commerce, Finance and Social Welfare and the Planning Commission.
Analyses have been completed on a range of social and labour issues related to globalization (pdf 473 Kb). An initial set of decent work indicators has also been compiled.
These have been the subject of a first National Policy Dialogue (pdf 143 Kb) on "Globalization, poverty reduction and decent work: policy alternatives" that was held on 27-28 April 2004 in Dhaka. The policy dialogue resulted in a shared agenda for policy development.