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Bangladesh: Oikko (“unity”) – United for translating rights into action NOW – BGD907

The OIKKO project contributes to the realization of fundamental rights of workers in the Bangladesh ready-made-garment industry.

Project Description
The OIKKO project (‘unity’ in Bengali language) will contribute to the realization of fundamental rights of workers in the Bangladesh ready-made-garment (RMG) industry. The action empowers female factory workers and strengthens labour right actors, from the grass-roots level up, to join forces for promoting the enforcement of the new labour law from July 2013 and for pursuing further reforms in the sector. The action aims to address the limited influence civil society has had to date on compliance, respect for workers’ rights, and workplace conditions in the RMG sector, and bridge the disconnect between workers and their representatives.
The action will have a far-reaching impact at the grass-roots level. Marginalised and socially excluded women workers joining into solidarity groups (the OIKKO impact group) will reach and inspire more than 18.000 co-workers and community members. Unions’ and labour rights organizations’ outreach will inform and motivate up to 22.500 workers to associate and link into the grass-roots labour rights movement. Capacitated trade unions and federations will ensure sustainability and scalability of OIKKO efforts. Ultimately, all 700.000 workers employed in the factories, whose workers are target groups of the project, and their families will benefit from enhanced social dialogue. In the long term, if a stronger civil society is successful in lobbying for labour law enforcement and improved working and living conditions all workers in the sector will enjoy their labour and human rights.

Overall Objective

A strong and united civil society promotes the implementation of fundamental labour rights in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh.

Specific Objective

To strengthen the capacity of labour rights actors and increase the voice and influence of female garment workers.

Expected Results

ER 1: 3.000 female garment workers have developed leadership skills and networks to collectively claim their rights (through EKATA solidarity groups).
ER 2: 600 labour rights activists from trade unions, NGOs and CBOs have increased capacity to exert a leadership role in outreach and within unions.
ER 3: Key civil society stakeholders have developed joint positions and lobbied to promote labour rights and gender equality.

Main Activities

Activity cluster 1: Formation of solidarity groups, capacity building for social analysis and knowledge on rights and gender equality, mobilisation of community-based support groups, support for advanced solidarity group leaders, establishing networks with labour and human rights activists (NGOs and trade unions).
Activity cluster 2: Design of training module for outreach activists of trade unions, develop a tool for training of outreach activists and roll out training (ToT for 25 trainers and 300 people reached through outreach), support to women’s leadership within unions and capacity building within unions, gender sensitisation for male leaders, linkages with legal aid service providers, develop tool for calculating compensation
Activity cluster 3: Engagement with CS and existing platforms on RMG sector and labour rights, joint research on minimum wage versus living wage, publication of annual watch report, joint advocacy events in Dhaka and Brussels.


10.500 workers and community members reached by EKATA groups (ER1); 22.500 workers reached by organisers (ER2); 500 workers served by improved capacities of trade unions (ER2); potentially all 4.5 mio. workers in the garment sector (ER3).


Areas in Gazipur, Chittagong and Dhaka – Bangladesh


01.03.2015 – 28.02.2018

This project contributes to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs):