Children are a critical stakeholder to all businesses whether as children of employees, employees themselves or as current and future consumers of business products and services.
Despite this, many businesses are yet to fully understand the link between their operations and children’s rights.
Child labour is only one example of how businesses can impact on children’s rights. There’s a whole range of indirect impacts where progress is needed.
For example, businesses can do more to provide maternity rights, breastfeeding support and find out more ways to support working women in balancing their responsibilities as a mother with that of being a worker.
The readymade garment (RMG) sector played a pivotal role for Bangladesh’s stunning economic growth. The sector employs more than three million people, approximately 60 per cent of whom are women. RMG exports contribute 7 per cent in annual GDP and reductions in poverty.
These developments are however changing Bangladesh’s population. Of the 160 million living in Bangladesh, about one third now live in urban areas.
Employment opportunities have been changing family structure. It is one of the reasons why people migrate to the cities, sometimes leaving behind children and other family members back home in the villages.
Despite relatively robust legislation, there is low awareness among working women on maternity and breastfeeding rights. Available policy lacks pragmatic approach to protecting a vital part of the country’s workforce.