Congratulations to 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, two individuals whose causes closely reflect the 2015 Commonwealth Theme: A Young Commonwealth.
Dhaka Ahsiana Mission
The World Health Organisation’s 2011 World Report on Disability says that 15 per cent of the world’s population live with some form of disability. 24 million live in Bangladesh alone, often in rural areas.
Turning Point intends to develop the advocating capacity of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and persons with disabilities in rural areas, approximately 50% of whom are women with disabilities. By improving their organisational systems, DPOs are better able to identify and articulate their concerns which can then be included in the implementation of national and international laws designed to protect disabled people. The project is also establishing links between DPOs and government to secure equal opportunities and inclusion in national legislature on disability rights.
Turning Point is also helping DPOs overall understanding of international regulations, human rights protections, and other existing laws.
Endorsed project title: Developing the capacity of persons with disabilities and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to advocate for their rights
Turning Point Foundation
Turning Point Foundation was established in 2010 to focus on disability issues and the disabled people’s organisation movement. Turning Point Foundation which is run by persons with disabilities continues to work for the inclusion of persons living with disabilities in the decision making processes on issues that affect them and on establishing their rights. The organisation has good working relationships with the registered and unregistered DPOs and the all disability networks in Bangladesh.
The garment industry plays a key role in the economies of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and there is a need to recognise increased working standards for female workers.
War on Want are improving working conditions in the Bangladesh and Sri Lanka garment industries by strengthening occupational safety and health standards
Through raising awareness of OSH issues, female workers’ rights and related policy processes, garment workers – and the organisations representing them – will be able to jointly advocate for better working standards. This will include setting up a platform for regular dialogue between government representatives, garment retailers and trade unions to improve standards.
By the end of the project, garment workers would have obtained the skills and experience to continue collectively engaging in problem solving with factory owners.
War on Want, UK
War on Want has over 60 years of experience in promoting workers’ rights. The organisation works in direct partnership with grassroots organisations in several countries to address issues of poverty and inequality. It has worked in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with partner organisations to promote workers’ rights for over ten years. Following the collapse of Rana Plaza, the organisation has developed a campaign entitled “Never again: making fashion’s factories safe” which resulted in the signature of a legally-binding agreement “Bangladesh Safety Accord” by over 150 biggest clothes companies to help prevent such disasters in the future.
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The National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) is one of Bangladesh biggest garment workers unions, representing over 45,000 workers. The vast majority of its members are young, female garment workers. The NGWF is a founding member of the Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council, an umbrella organisation of 21 garment worker federations. It is also a member of the arbitration committee, a body that negotiates labour law and cases of workers’ rights violations through dialogue between trade unions, government and factory owners. NGWF was involved in a successful campaign to introduce a new minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh, which was approved in 2010.
Free Trade Zone & General Service Employees Union (FTZ&GSEU) is the largest trade union in Sri Lanka, with 16,000 members. The FTZ&GSEU focuses on supporting female workers, who are more vulnerable to labour rights abuses. FTZ&GSEU has a long track record of actively and successfully engaging with government as well as with companies. The organisation has been a member trade union of the National Labour Advisory Committee since 2007. The Committee was established to provide for consultation and co-operation between the government, organisations of workers and employers on social and labour policies and international labour standards. It is chaired by the Minister of Labour.
The use of unregulated, under-aged and under-paid child domestic labourers (CDLs) remains problematic in many countries around the world, with around 11.5 million children worldwide still thought to work in illegal situations.
In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – where millions of these child labourers live – there is an increasing willingness to change their plight, and this project will capture that willingness and use it to support positive movement away from this modern slavery.
Global March is working with partner organisations in each of the three countries and will look to the progress already being made in India’s justice system on the subject and seek to further embed it in the fabric of people’s awareness. Based on the experiences of India’s Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Pakistan’s Grassroots Organisation for Human Development and Bangladesh’s Shishu Adhikar Forum will spearhead action in each of the countries, partnering with civil society organisations (CSOs) to amend laws, raise awareness, advocate for policy change and build the capacity for CSOs, government and law enforcement to work together in the fight against child domestic labour.
There will be training and workshops for CSOs, compilation of legislative literature, expansive regional and national consultations, and extensive analysis of existing structures – all with the aim of enhancing awareness and encouraging the will of many levels of society throughout India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to let their children live their childhoods in peace.
Global March Against Child Labour
The Global March Against Child Labour is a worldwide network of trade unions, teachers’ and civil society organisations that work together towards the shared development goals of eliminating and preventing all forms of child labour and ensuring access by all children to free, meaningful and good quality public education. It mobilises and supports its constituents to contribute to local, national, regional and global efforts and support for a range of international instruments relating to the protection and promotion of children’s rights, engaging with the United Nations, international and inter-governmental agencies.
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Bachpan Bachao Andolan
Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) symbolizes India’s largest grassroots movement for the protection of children, ensuring their quality education. As on October 2014, BBA has rescued more than 83 500 victims of trafficking, slavery and child labour and has helped them re-establish trust in society and find promising futures for themselves.
Since its establishment by the Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi in 1980, BBA has led the world’s largest civil society campaign in the form of the Global March Against Child Labour and has been at the forefront of laying down laws against child labour and trafficking in India.
Access to finance is a big challenge facing women and young people in the subsistence agriculture, fisheries and food processing sectors in Bangladesh.
The Anglican Alliance is increasing opportunities for enterprise by involving 600 women and young people in the development of policies on accessing finance.
This project will enable three communities in Bangladesh to engage with business, civil society and government to shape the policy for economic inclusion, ensuring these policies are relevant and locally owned. It will foster the development of best practice in participatory governance and share this through a distance learning programme, available throught the Open University.
The project is further strengthened through the Anglican Alliance’s reach in other regions, particularly Africa and the Pacific, and responds to the 2013 Commonwealth Theme ‘Opportunity through Enterprise’.
Anglican Alliance is actively involved in working towards a world that is free of poverty and injustice.
It tackles poverty and its causes by working in partnership with others around the world, empowering individuals and communities to overcome inequality and injustice. Women and youth empowerment are regarded as key development challenges and are the focus of Anglican Alliance projects in several countries.
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