Set up breastfeeding corners at workplaces
The High Court yesterday released the full text of a verdict underscoring the need for setting up "infant feeding centres" at all relevant establishments and public places, including RMG factories, within a reasonable period of time.
Every garment factory, having a strength of more than 40 female workers, should set up breastfeeding corners, the HC observed.
"A child needs to be breastfed for two years. Needless to observe that many of such lactating mothers are engaged in services or businesses, either in government or in the private sectors. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that necessary arrangements should be made at all such relevant establishments and public places including shopping malls, bus terminals, train stations, steamers, or launch ghats to enable the mothers to feed their children as and when necessary without going through hassle or agony", the HC said in the full text of verdict.
The HC delivered the verdict on this issue on April 2 this year, following a writ petition filed by Advocate Ishrat Hasan, a Supreme Court lawyer, on October 24, 2019, seeking necessary directives. Her nine-month-old child Umair Bin Sadi was also mentioned as a petitioner.
In the full text of the verdict, the HC said, "In the garments industry, where more than 90 percent of the workforce comprise of female workers, it is absolutely imperative that each and every garment factory, having a strength of more than 40 female workers, as laid down in section 94 of the Bangladesh Labour Law, 2006, should set up corners or designated spaces to facilitate the feeding of infants by their mothers during their working hours".
"It is equally important that such facilities should also be made in conformity with the directives given in section 94 of the Bangladesh Labour Law, 2006 namely, that the room should be well ventilated, secured and furnished with adequate facilities and should be made accessible to the concerned mothers."
The HC said in the full text of judgment that "in some way, history has been created since, in all likelihood, a writ petition has never been filed previously by a nine-month-old child."