Speakers yesterday urged the government to implement the Domestic Workers Protection and Welfare Policy-2015, which had been approved by the cabinet, to protect rights of the domestic helps.
Hailing the draft with a provision of registration and legal assistance for the domestic helps, they questioned if a mobile SIM can be registered, then why not domestic helps, said a press release.
The speakers observed that the draft is a first step of ratification of the International Labour Organisation for the Domestic Workers Convention.
They said these at a workshop held in the capital's CIRDAP auditorium, organised by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit and Domestic Workers' Rights Network, to share findings of a study titled “Public Policy Formulation: A Case Study of Domestic Workers in Bangladesh”.
Addressing as the chief guest, lawmaker Israfil Alam, a member of the parliamentary standing committee on labour ministry, observed that implementation of the draft is imperative.
“We should create awareness campaigns to change the employers' mindset,” he said.
Researcher ASM Ali Ashraf presented the study findings, highlighting the role of NGOs, trade unions, and employers' representatives in the policy formulation process that was steered by the labour ministry.
RMMRU chair Prof Tasneem Siddiqui presided over the programme where advocate Salma Ali, executive director of Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers' Association, Dr Wajedul Islam Khan, general secretary of Trade Union Kendra, and Dhaka University teachers Fahmida Yasmin and CR Abrar spoke.
Under the draft policy, the domestic helps would be brought under a registration process, said Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam on December 21 last year.
The proposed law will also act for protection of the employers and their families, he said, adding that such policy is being adopted as the country has been a signatory to the 189 section of the Geneva Convention.