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  Domestic Workers’ Rights Network
roundtable at IDEB
20 January, 2010
Venue: IDEB Bhaban, Kakrail, Dhaka
Speakers at a roundtable underscored the necessity to bring all domestic workers under the protection of labour law aiming to establish their human rights and labour rights. Domestic Workers Rights Network with the support of International Labour Organization (ILO) organised the roundtable titled “Code of Conduct to Ensure Rights for the Domestic Workers” held on January 20, 2010 at the IDEB Bhaban, Kakrail, Dhaka. Engr. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain MP, Minister for Labour & Employment and Expatriate Welfare & Overseas Employment was present at the programme as Chief Guest while Md. Nurul Haque, Acting Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment and Gagan Rajbhandari, Deputy Director, ILO Dhaka Office were present as special guests. Habibur Rahman Seraz, Chairman, Bangladesh Institute of labour Studies-BILS chaired the programme. Nazrul Islam khan, Secretary General, BILS presented a key-note paper while Dr. Wajedul Islam Khan, General Secretary, Bangladesh trade Union Kendra discussed on network activities. Shirin Akhter, Vice Chairperson, BILS as well as Founder President, Kormojibi Nari was present at the working session as moderator. Representatives from different national trade union federations, human rights organisations, NGOs and media attended the programme.Khandaker Mosharraf said the government will take necessary steps to include the domestic workers in Labour Law-2006. He sought cooperation from all concerned in this connection so that the workers can be brought under the protection of law. Mosharraf said the domestic workers have their demand abroad. Therefore, it is our duty to help them for building their capacity so that they can work well abroad. . If they are not sent abroad legally, they might be trafficked illegally, he added.
Addressing the occasion, other speakers called upon the government to follow the code of conduct to ensure rights for the domestic workers, which was earlier submitted to Labour Ministry, till the inclusion of the workers in the law. They called for raising awareness for changing our attitude toward the domestic workers and giving them due status for establishing their labour rights. Among others, Hosne Ara Kashem, Executive Director of Shoishob Bangladesh, Advocate Delwar Hossain khan, General Secretary of Bangladesh Labour Federation, Abdul Kader Howlader, President of Jatiya Sramik Jote, Taleya Rahman, Executive Director of Democracy Watch, Dr ASM Atiqur Rahman, Professor, Dhaka University, Md Zafrul Hasan, General Secretary of Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal, Ratan Sarkar, Coordinator of Together with Working Children,  Wahida Banu, chairman of the Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum, Abdul Matin Master, Chairman NCCWE and Advocate A K M Nasim, labour law specialist also discussed on the working session. 
  Human Chain of DWRN to observe
World Human Rights Day
10 December, 2009
Venue: Shahbagh, Dhaka 

Aiming to observe World Human Rights Day, Domestic Workers Rights Network (DWRN) organised a human chain on 10 December 2009 in the morning at Shahbagh area in the capital. The human chain was organised demanding the establishment of human rights for the domestic workers, bringing them under Labour Law-2006 and approving the 'Code of Conduct for Domestic Workers'. Hasanul haq Inu, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee for Post, Telecommunication and telegraph Ministry, Md. Israfil Alam, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee for Labour and Employment Ministry, Dr. Wajedul Islam Khan, Coordinator, SKOP, Shirin Akhter, President, Karmajibi Nari and representatives from different trade union federations, human rights organisations and netwoek organisatios were present at the human chain.  Speakers at the event said, bringing domestic workers under labour law is under active consideration of the government. They further said, as domestic workers have voting right, therefore, they have iqual rights to get status as labour. They pleaded to everybody to come forward for the establishment of domestic workers rights. 

Trade Union Debates around Climate Change
Venue: BIAM, Dhaka
Date: 24-26October 2009
Organised by:BILS,LO Denmark& Sustainlabour

Production system of industrial sectors has to be changed to address the affect of climate change and trade union can play important role on it.  Bangladesh has already become the victim of climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to take immediate step to tackle the issue. Speakers said this at the inaugural session of a 3-day national seminar titled "Trade Union Debate around Climate Change. The session was held on Saturday, 24 October 2009 at BIAM Auditorium in the capital.  Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies-BILS, LO (Denmark) and Sustainlabour (Spain) jointly organised the seminar. Dr. Md. Abdur Razzaque, M.P, Minister for Food and Disaster Management was present as chief guest at the inaugural session while Dr. Mihir Kanti Mazumder, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest was present as special guest. Md. Habibur Rahman Siraj Chairman, BILS chaired the session. Md. Zafrul Hasan Joint Secretary General, BILS, Erik Nielsen, Regional Consultant, LO- FTF Council (Denmark) and Laura Martín Murillo, Director, Sustainlabour delivered welcome address. Among others, Md. Mojubur Rahman Bhuiyan, Vice Chairman, Rowshon Jahan Shathi MP, Member and Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, Assistant Executive Director of BILS and Julianna Angelova, Representative, Sustainlabour Secretariat were also present.   The minister said, "Trade Union can play strong role to create pressure on developed countries to reduce the emission of CO2. He said, "Besides getting donation it is also important to ensure that for the people who are victims". Giving importance on food security and disaster management, the minister said that the government has been working to address these issues.              It is to be mentioned that there were 14 different sessions in this seminar, where good number of national and international trade union leaders and representatives from government, non-government and international organisations attended. Representatives and experts of different international organisations like UNDP, UNEP, WHO and ILO were present as key discussants at the seminar.

Annual General Meeting of BILS

Date: 11 July, 2009

Venue: BIAM, Eskaton, Dhaka  

Md. Habibur Rahman Siraj, Chairman and

Nazrul Islam Khan, Secretary General

BILS Annual General meeting was held at BIAM Multipurpose Hall in the Capital on 11 July, 2009. A fifteen member Executive Committee headed by Md. Habibur Rahman Siraj as Chairman and Nazrul Islam Khan as Secretary General, was elected for the next 2 years. The newly elected Executive Committee formed an Advisory Council. Chief Election Commissioner, Abul Bashar, moderated the election. Md. Mojibur Rahman Bhuiyan, Acting Chairman of BILS chaired the meeting. Nazrul Islam Khan, Secretary General of BILS submitted the Activity report while Finance Secretary Md. Kabir Hossain submitted the Financial Report of BILS. Some amendments were made in the constitution.

The list of the Executive committee:

Chairman-Md. Habibur Rahman Siraj, Vice Chairman- Md. Mojibur Rahman Bhuiyan, Shafiuddin Ahmed and Shirin Akhter, Secretary General-Nazrul Islam Khan, Joint Secretary General-Md. Zafrul Hasan, Finance Secretary-Md. Kabir Hossain, Secretary- Dr. Wajedul Islam Khan, Advocate Delwar Hossain Khan, A.M. Nazim Uddin, Rowshan Jahan Shathi, MP. and Md. Alauddin Mia, Executive Member-Abul Kalam Azad and Safar Ali. (The Executive Committee will select the Rest 1 Executive member.)

Members of the Advisory Council are:

Abul Bashar, Shafiqur Rahman Majumdar, Abdullah Al-Noman, Mokhlesur Rahman, Abdus Salam Khan, Shah Mohd. Abu Zafar, Mesbahuddin Ahmed, Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury, Nashu Miah, Abdul Matin Master, Abul Kashem Chowdhury, Ashraf Hossain, Roy Ramesh Chandra, Professor Jahanara Begum, Golam Sattar, Advocate Nirmalendu Dhar and Badal Khan.

Eng. Khandker Mosharraf Hossain MP, Minister, Ministry of Labour & Employment and Expatriate Welfare & Overseas Employment was present as Chief Guest at the opening session of the meeting in the morning. Md. Ataharul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment and Panudda Boonpala, Director ILO, Area Office Dhaka were present as Special Guests. 




Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies - BILS was established in 1995 with the support and active participation of the major National Trade Union Federations of the country. 13 National TU Federations are associated with it. BILS Believes that a just and democratic society is must to ensure the right of working people. And as the vanguard of protection of workers' rights Trade Union can play a vital role in establishing such a society. Keeping this in view, since inception, the BILS has been working for capacity building for Trade Unions. BILS regularly contributes to and intervenes in developing policies and laws for working people. The priorities of intervention are decide to social dialogues and action researches and studies. To reach out most neglected women workers and to contribute to the elimination of child labours BILS has undertaken specialized action programs. BILS plays a catalyst role in bridging trade unions, civil society and the government on labour market issues. Read More...




"We are not so big that we
can make a change overnight,
We are not so small that we
cannot initiate a change"

Nazrul Islam Khan
Secretary General, BILS


October - December 2009



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