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Project Background

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Title of the project: Corporate Social Responsibility, Workplace Safety and Compensation in Bangladesh

This project proposal comprises three different components:

a) Research on corporate social responsibility in Bangladesh

Medium and large companies in Bangladesh, both foreign and local, are increasingly promoting their work in corporate social responsibility. CSR are voluntary activities, undertaken by a company which are over and above any legal obligations that it  may have, which provides benefits to workers, the environment or the public. The role of CSR in Bangladesh has particularly grown in recent years as a result of the work of the Bangladesh Enterprise institute and the UN Global compact. The purpose of this research is to undertake a provisional evaluation of the extent of CSR in Bangladesh, and how effective it has been in providing benefits to workers and the public, and whether contradictions exist between companies CSR work on the one hand and their failure to comply with the law on the other.

b) Information gathering and analysis on workplace deaths in Bangladesh

This component involves the monitoring of 16 national newspapers and 11 local newspapers from 5 divisional cities in Bangladesh to identify workplace deaths. A report will be produced summarizing the result of the monitoring – and the subsequent investigations that are done into them - which will set out details of the industrial sectors and the geographical areas in which the deaths took place, the circumstances of each death and whether or not they resulted from a breach in the law. Quarterly information providing details about the deaths will be placed on the Safety and Rights website.

c) Legal review into investigations undertaken into workplace deaths, drafting of compensation cases, and enforcement action referrals

The third component of the project concerns the undertaking of a legal review into the results of an investigations undertaken into the workplace deaths around the country. This comprises assessing whether the circumstances of the death allow for a claim of compensation to be made by the dependent family, and/or enforcement action by the Inspectorate of Factories and Establishments. As part of this work, and following the assessment, in those cases where compensation can be provided, legal compensation petitions will be drafted and sent to Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust for filing and subsequent legal action. In addition, where there appears to be evidence of a breach of criminal law, relevant information about the deaths will be passed to the inspectorate for their enforcement action.