All Citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. Discuss this statement.


 Every woman, man, youth and child has the human right[1] to freedom from discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any other status, and to other fundamental human rights dependent upon realization of the human right to freedom from discrimination[2]. These human rights are explicitly set out in the Universal Declaration[3] of Human Rights, the International Covenants, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other widely adhered to international human rights treaties and Declarations — powerful tools that must be put to use in efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. The legal mechanism is a legal rule or set of rule which is an atomic process that occurs during a reaction or the technical aspects of a country’s law. Every legal agreement has a legal mechanism. For example:  Buyers must agree to this legal charge being secured on their home before the purchase can be completed. On the other hand, The Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme documents include other obligations such as the requirement for owners to insure their property. But this legal mechanism differs from country to country and the situation to situation.

 Legal System of Bangladesh:

The present legal and judicial system[4] of Bangladesh owes its origin mainly to two hundred years British rule[5] in the Indian Sub-Continent although some elements of it are remnants of Pre-British

Period tracing back to Hindu and Muslim administration. It passed through various stages and has been gradually developed as a continuous historical process. The process of evolution has been partly indigenous and partly foreign and the legal system of the present day emanates from a mixed system which has structure, legal principles and concepts modeled on both Indo-Mughal [6]and English law. The Indian sub-continent has a known history of over five hundred years with Hindu and Muslim periods which preceeded the British period[7], and each of these early periods had a distinctive legal system of its own

  Women in garments sector:

 Garment sector[8] is the highest employer of women in Bangladesh. The garment sector has gave employment opportunities to women from the countryside that formerly did not have any frontier to be fraction of the formal workforce. This has given women the chance to be financially independent and have a voice in the family because now they contributed financially. However,  the women employees face a lot of problem. Most women come from low revenue families. Low wage of women employees and their complies have enabled the industry to complete with the world market. The garments sector plays a critical role in the development of the economy. It has not only provided livelihood to many people but changed the role of women in  the  society.  Female workers played a significant role in working in the garments sector and boosting the economy. Female workers can give a lot of effort in the work field and contributes to the family welfare. The garments sector lead to economic freedom of around 1.5 million women. With their renewed   sources   of   income,   many   small   industries began to emerge. Industries like cosmetics and clothing began to cater to the increasing demands of the women.

  What is Child Labor:

Child labor refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labor. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries. Child labor was employed to varying extents through most of history, but entered public dispute with the advent of universal schooling, with changes in working conditions during the industrial revolution[9], and with the emergence of the concepts of workers’ and children’s rights[10].

In many developed countries, it is considered inappropriate or exploitative if a child below a certain age works (excluding household chores, in a family shop, or school-related work). An employer is usually not permitted to hire a child below a certain minimum age. This minimum age depends on the country and the type of work involved. States ratifying the Minimum Age Convention adopted by the International Labor Organization in 1973[11], have adopted minimum ages varying from 14 to 16. Child labor laws in the United States set the minimum age to work in an establishment without restrictions and without parents’ consent at age 16, except for the agricultural industry where children as young as 12 years of age can work in the fields for an unlimited number of non-school hours. See Children’s Act[12] for Responsible Employment (CARE Act).

 Child labor in export industries:

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Labor Force Survey (1990), there are 5.7 million 10 to 14 year old children working in Bangladesh. Another estimate puts the number at 15 million. Nearly all the child labor in export industries is found in the garment industry. According to the Bangladesh Ministry of Labor[13], “children are found working in garments, bakeries and confectioneries, hotels and restaurants, transport, bidi (cigarette) factories, small engineering workshops, fish-processing, and other informal and unregulated sectors.” There are also allegations[14] of children catching and processing shrimp in Chittagong for export.

 Some laws and regulations for labor rights:

Labor Rights Now strongly protested the jailing of top leaders of the largest union in Bangladesh. Police arrested Rajendra Prashad Boonerjee[15], president of the Bangladesh Cha Sramik Union (BCSU)[16] on March 24, 2006. In a letter to Shamsher M. Chowdhury[17], the Bangladesh ambassador to the U.S., Labor Rights Now President Don Stillman urged his immediate release along with that of Narendra Boonerjee and Bupesh Sind, also officials of the BCSU[18].

The labor force of Bangladesh has long been the subject of abuse and restraint when it comes to granting the workers their fair share of labor. The labor rights of Bangladesh are notorious protected in the face of high global standard. The labor laws of Bangladesh have proved to be too inadequate to safeguard labor rights. And the government of Bangladesh has shown consistent reluctance in formulating laws that would better protect the labor rights.

Workers and allied organizations that advocate for the enforcement and protection of internationally recognized worker’s rights face various impediments including threat of violence.The GoB assumed an oppositional approach to nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and trade unions in Bangladesh during the “state of emergency[19]” declared in January 2007. Since the end of the “state of emergency” in December 2008, the GoB’s approach to labor rights advocate has not changed.

 Education Laws for labor children:

Under Bangladesh law, children must attend school through the fifth grade. Primary education is free and compulsory, although not compulsory for girls in the rural areas. The implementation of compulsory education has fallen short in part because parents keep their children out of school, finding school accessories too expensive or preferring their children to be working for money or helping with household chores. The current government policy is to implement compulsory education in 50 percent of the country by 1995 and 100 percent by the year 2000.

 Programs and efforts to address child labor:

In the past year or two, there has been significant action taken by the Government of Bangladesh, the BGMEA[20], international organizations, and NGOs to create solutions and alternatives for child workers. In its written testimony to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Government of Bangladesh listed official efforts either taken or planned for the future. Some of the efforts include a realization of the objectives of the Rights of the Child Convention (a National Program of Action for Children was launched on June 2, 1992); examination by the National Labor Law Commission on existing labor laws with the goal of updating and consolidating them into a “Labor Code,”; strictly enforcing child labor laws; continuing to publish notices containing the provisions of laws relating to child employment in daily newspapers and broadcasting prohibitory messages over TV and radio; and distributing posters prohibiting child labor.

The government is cooperating with international organizations such as UNICEF to develop non-formal educational and other support programs for working children. The government has reportedly also agreed to allow the ILO[21] to conduct a national survey of child workers.

On July 4, 1994, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) announced that it would eliminate child labor from all garment factories by October 31, 1994. On May 5, 1994, Mr. Redwan Ahmed, president of the BGMEA, announced that in addition to setting up a hospital for garment workers, the BGMEA also planned to give informal education, professional training, and to provide health care facilities to the employees of the apparel sector by setting up seven clinic/hospitals and seven training center/schools in Dhaka and Chittagong.

The transnational corporations are becoming increasingly powerful. As profits are naturally the most important goal, damaging results can arise, such as violation of human rights, lobbying for and participating in manipulated international agreements, environmental damage, child labor, driving towards cheaper and cheaper labor, and so on. Multinational corporations claim that their involvement in foreign countries is actually a constructive engagement as it can promote human rights in non-democratic nations. However, it seems that that is more of a convenient excuse to continue exploitative practices. Freedom of Speech and Human Rights are taken for granted in the west, but recent years have seen conditions deteriorate around the world. Human Rights conditions were reported to remain unchanged compared to previous years, or in some countries.  The first of the core labor standards, the freedom of labor association and recognition of the right to collective bargaining, clearly envisages that workers should be able to improve their lot through union organizing.

 Prevention of forced or compulsory labor:

The penal code prohibits coerced or bounded labor; however, the formal punishment of imprisonment for upward to one year or a fine was not sufficiently stringent to deter the offence, and the federal did not impose the prohibitions effectively. Though relatively rare in urban fields, bonded labor waited frequent in countryside in servant service. Faced with extreme poverty and unemployment, rural employees, encompassing complete household, were buried in bonded labor, frequently facing physical insult and sometimes death.

 Prohibition of child labor and minimum age for employment:

Under the law every kid must attend college through level five or the age of ten years, but there is no efficient constitutional machinery to impose these supplies, and kid labor is widespread.

Children’s were found:

 Working in street transportation, such as rickshaw dragging, automotive repair, minibus assistance, salt and match factories and tanneries.

–         The manufacturing of brick,, cigarettes, dried fish, shoe, metal furnishing, glass, textiles, garments and soap.

–         Printing, fabrication, stone breaching, dying operation, blacksmith contribution and   construction hotels and restaurants.

–         Begging, pottering, shining shoes, collecting paper and selling flower.

–         Smuggling and trading arms and drugs.

Children commonly executed servant work. In 2008 the federal, with ILO advocate, deployed a kid labor unit at the Ministry of Labor and Employment to organize planning or execution of all child- related labor interventions


The law provides for the right to attend unions and, with federal satisfaction, the right to model a union, however many restriction on union booking remained. The total labor coerce was roughly 50 million, or whom roughly 1.5 million belonged to unions, a lot of which were associated with political parties[22]. There were roughly 5,000 garment factories recruiting 2.5 million workers, more than 80 percent were women. No consistence labor statistics were available for the great informal sector in which the majority of civilians worked. There are lot of governs and law in Bangladesh but constitutional machinery is all right in command to shelter labor rights is not very correct. Most of the time authorities doesn’t wants to chase the governs and sometimes labor also breach the laws. We have governs but we didn’t appeal those. So federal must take care of it

At last we can say our current legal mechanism is not up to date and it is rarely adequate in order to protect labor right.


  1. Beitz, Charles R. (2009). The idea of human rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199572458.
  1. Moyn, Samuel (2010). The last utopia: human rights in history. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674048720.
  1. ‘Bangladeshi women organise for their rights’ (undated), The Independent -Bangladesh, – Accessed 15 May 2007.
  1. Haque, M.S. 2002, ‘The Changing Balance of Power Between the Government and NGOS in Bangladesh’ International Political Science Review, 2002, vol.23.
  1. Kabeer, N. 1991, ‘The Quest for National Identity: Women, Islam and the State in Bangladesh’, Feminist Review, vol. 1, Spring.
  1. International Labour Organisation 2006, ‘Core Labour Standards Handbook’, Manilla

[1] Human rights are “commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.

[2] Within sociology, ‘discrimination‘ is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. Discrimination is the actual behavior towards members of another group

[3] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled

[4] The legal systems of the world today are generally based on one of three basic systems: civil law, common law, and religious law.

[5] In law , the Golden rule, or British rule, is a form of statutory construction traditionally applied by English courts.

[6] The Mughal Empire … literary and high culture to India, thus forming the base for the Indo-Persian culture and the Spread of Islam in South Asia

[7] British rule  is the name given to British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947.

[8] Garment sector is the largest employer of women in Bangladesh.

[9] The era known as the Industrial Revolution was a period in which fundamental changes occurred in agriculture, textile and metal manufacture, transportation

[10] The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) applies to all children and young people aged 17 and under.

[11] Minimum Age Convention, 1973. The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation

[12] here are outstanding changes not yet made by the editorial team to Children Act 1989.

[13] According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Labor Force Survey (1990), there are 5.7 million 10 to 14 year old children working in Bangladesh.

[14] An allegation (also called adduction) is a claim of a fact by a party in a pleading, which the party claims to be able to prove. Allegations remain assertions without proof, until they can be proved.

[15] Rajendra Prasad, Ph.D.Professor-School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi-110067.

[16] Bangladesh Cha (Tea) Sramik Union (BDSU). It is nationally affiliated to Bangladesh Mukto Sramik Federation.

[17] Shamsher M. Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi diplomat and served as the Foreign Secretary of MInistry of Foreign Affairs from October 2001 to March 2005

[18] Bangladesh Cha Sramik Union (BCSU).

[19] A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours.

[20] (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) a recognized trade body that represents export oriented garment manufacturers.

 [21] The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues pertaining to international labour standards.

 [22] A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy.