Das Team von BCWS

© 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 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.

BCWS website: www.bcwsbd.org

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.

In 2017 and 2018 Kalpona Akter was invited by FEMNET to lecture in Germany. Impressions can be found in our reports about the Speakers Tour 2017 and the Speakers Tour 2018.

What we have achieved together with BCWS

BCWS maintains a day care centre for children of female workers. We support the centre with donations. Since the end of 2018, we have also been working with BCWS on a project to combat violence against women in clothing factories.

In 2018, thanks to FEMNET donations, BCWS lawyers were also able to advise 288 workers in cases such as unlawful dismissals, late payment or non-payment of wages or maternity leave. In 21 cases, direct mediation between BCWS legal experts and factory management led to a settlement in favour of the workers. In the remaining cases, a complaint was lodged with the labour court. Of these, 43 have been successful so far, and a further 224 have been submitted to the district court for processing.

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