Bangladesh: strengthening workers’ rights and supporting the Rohingya
Bangladesh faces numerous social and economic challenges. Solidar Suisse engages in favour of decent working conditions in the leather industry and supports Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazar camp.
Exploitation and humanitarian crisis
In recent years, levels of precarity have reduced in Bangladesh, but the country continues to face severe social problems. Unemployment – in particular youth unemployment – remains a huge challenge. There is still an urgent need for significant investment in basic services and infrastructure. The conditions in the industrial sectors that drive the country’s economic growth, like the textiles sector, are deplorable. They put workers in danger and cause serious violations of human and workers’ rights.
Today, Bangladesh hosts nearly a million Rohingya refugees living in overpopulated camps. This humanitarian crisis affects displaced persons as much as Bangladeshi host communities and cannot be overcome without the assistance of the international community.
Life expectancy: 72 years
Average life expectancy in Switzerland: 83,6 years
Literacy rate: 73.9%
Literacy rate among adults in Switzerland: 99,9 %
Gini index (income inequality): 32.4
The Gini-Index measures the degree of income inequality: The higher the number, the more inequality. Switzerland: 32,7
Solidar Suisse engages on twolevels in Bangladesh. In the field of development cooperation, we support workers in the leather industry. The working conditions in this economic sector are appalling in terms of both health and basic rights. We help to strengthen employees’ negotiating position and to improve their working conditions.
In the field of humanitarian assistance, Solidar Suisse supports the Rohingya refugees in the camps in the east of the country. By improving their makeshift shelters, their ability to access food and by providing them with financial support in exchange for their participation in activities that help the community, we act to make their daily lives more bearable. A significant part of our humanitarian assistance is also focused on host communities. The Bangladeshis living near the camps are often heavily impacted by the arrival of the refugees and they too urgently need support from the international community.
«Currently the dangers they face in their country of origin mean there is no question of the Rohingya returning to Myanmar. This crisis is set to be prolonged.»