DRL Promoting and Advancing International Labor Rights in Bangladesh

Sponsor: Department of State
Target Group: Faculty & Staff
Closing Date: March 2, 2021
Description: The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications in response to the following solicitation. Across industries, workers in Bangladesh face abusive or unsafe working conditions (particularly women), low pay, and forced overtime. Many lack basic human rights protections and are denied the freedom of association. Workers are hesitant to join or form independent unions, which face intimidation, threats, and bureaucratic hurdles. Where workers do have access to trade union federations and labor NGOs operating in the country, their options for recourse are limited and often thwarted by powerful interests. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these issues, causing increased economic and physical vulnerability, and in some sectors, widespread layoffs, and failure to pay salaries. DRL’s goal is to meaningfully and promptly address human and labor rights violations in Bangladesh outside the garment industry. Successful proposals will go beyond describing an approach that promotes freedom of association and will also detail how the applicant will address workers’ grievances. The objectives for this program are to: 1) improve the internal capacity of CSOs/worker organizations to identify and address collective violations, and strengthen their democratic and equitable representation of workers, and 2) strengthen the ability of CSOs/worker organizations to defend worker rights and interests by using existing mechanisms (eg: worker welfare, safety, or sexual harassment committees) and advocating for necessary changes with appropriate stakeholders, including employers.

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