Domestic workers, trade union leaders and legal experts on Wednesday urged the government to immediately implement the domestic workers’ protection and welfare policy which has been adopted in 2015 to protect their rights.
Speaking at a conference, they also urged the government to ratify the ILO convention 189 that calls for ensuring decent living and working conditions for domestic workers.
Shokhi Project and National Domestic Women Workers’ Union jointly organised Dhaka City Domestic Workers’ conference at BMA auditorium in the city.
Former Justice Nizamul Huq who spoke as chief guest said that job of domestic workers was very important and without their help the city dwellers could not be able to go a single day. As human being, the domestic workers have rights to enjoy all legal protections, he said.
He suggested the domestic workers to continue their efforts demanding to formulate the new law for protecting their rights.
Lawmaker Shirin Akhter who spoke as the special guest said that the government has adopted the policy for domestic workers to recognise them.
She described the domestic working as an important profession and mentioned that in America and Europe, the domestic workers were doing their jobs with honours.
National Domestic Women workers Union general secretary Murshida Akter said that the government never cared to implement the policy it had formulated for the domestic workers.
‘We want Bangladesh to ratify the ILO convention 189 immediately,’ she said, adding that domestic workers would not leave the streets unless the government takes action in this regard.
Trade union leader Abul Hossain called upon the domestic workers to get united to realize their due rights.
International Domestic workers Federation general secretary Elizabeth Tang who came from Hong Kong said that at least 66 affiliated organizations of the domestic workers have been working in 54 countries across the world.
She informed that they were going to organize its 5th congress very soon and wished that domestic workers in Bangladesh would push the government to enact a law for them before the congress.
Advocate Zobaida Parvin said that domestic workers were the most vulnerable among all workers and they must be protected by law.
In the conference, a 21-member committee of Dhaka City Domestic Workers was announced by Women workers Union general secretary Murshida Akter and the new committee members were sworn in by Abul Hossain, the trade union leader.
Over 200 domestic workers from different parts of the city took part in the conference.