International Partner Organisations

Das Team von BCWS

Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS), Bangladesh

The internationally recognized labour rights organization is a member of the Clean Clothes Campaign and is one of Bangladesh's most prominent advocates for workers' rights.

The Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS) strives to assist garment workers in achieving better working conditions and advocates both locally and globally for the protection of labour rights. They place particular emphasis on the rights of female workers, gender equality, and the involvement of women workers in negotiations, also working to safeguard the human rights of women and children.

BCWS website:

Labour rights activist Kalpona Akter

Kalpona Akter. Foto: © FEMNETKalpona Akter is the managing director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS) and one of the most prominent activists in Bangladesh. She started working in garment factories at the age of 12. However, because of her trade union involvement, she was fired and soon put on the factories' "black list". Nevertheless, she continued to fight. Since 2000 Kalpona Akter has been working full-time as an activist. For years, she has been fighting for the rights of women workers, for more security in the factories and the possibility to organize in trade unions. In 2010, she was in prison for one month. For her tireless commitment she was awarded the Alison Des Forges Award by Human Rights Watch in 2016.

What we have achieved together with BCWS

BCWS operates a daycare center that serves the children of female workers, which we contributed to through donations. Afterwards, several factories have established daycare centers as a result of advocacy efforts by workers. Since the end of 2018, we have also been working with BCWS on a project to combat gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) against women in clothing factories and as a result, almost 3000 workers were reached in awareness raising workshops, in-depth trainings and “Breaking the Taboo” Sessions.

With the support of donations from FEMNET over the years, BCWS lawyers also provided advice and assistance to several hundred workers on a range of labor issues including unlawful dismissals, obtaining maternity benefits, and securing earned leave payments in different factories.

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