Policy drafted for the home-based workers in Bangladesh

A policy for the home-based workers was drafted in Bangladesh on 15 February 2023. According to the 2016/17 Labour Force Survey there were about 3.2 million non-agricultural home-based workers in Bangladesh. However, there is a cost for falling below the policy radar: women’s home‐based work is by and large excluded from the purview of existing labor law and highly under‐represented in official labour statistics. With respect to the labour law, the major constraints to inclusion as workers is the ongoing debate around whether or not home‐based workers are dependent or independent and the fact that the labor contract is almost non‐existent for these workers.

In official labour force statistics women’s home‐based work is not recognized as economic activity and hence excluded, and those who are enumerated are designated as “unpaid family helpers”. Home-based Workers Rights Network Bangladesh (HWRN-B) has initiated the policy draft by forming a core committee from this network and they have drafted a HBWs policy which is now under review by the experts. Repon Chowdhury, Chairman of Labour at Informal Economy, Khondker Rebaka Sun Yat, Executive Director, Coalition for the Urban Poor-CUP, Abul Hossain, President of Bangladesh Hawker Sangram Parishad and representative of others organization had participated in the policy draft initiative. Farida Khanam, National Coordinator, labour at Informal Economy facilitated to the meeting.