Merely 16 per cent of private companies in Bangladesh are contributing to social development, says a new report.

At a recent Youth Convention-2013, in Dhaka, Save the Children-Bangladesh, quoting a new report said that only 16 per cent of private companies in Bangladesh are contributing to social development through their corporate social responsibility activities.

Among the 24 companies being surveyed only four of the companies have undertaken Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, said Shahida Begum, Programme Director of the Education for Youth Empowerment wing of Save the Children-Bangladesh.

While presenting the report at Youth Convention 2013 as part of the formulation of ‘National CSR Policy for Children’, Begum also said that forty-six per cent of the surveyed companies were of the view that CSR and compliance would increase their business opportunities.

The programme was jointly organised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment and Save the Children-Bangladesh in Dhaka. The convention was attended by approximately 700 youth representatives.

The Ministry has also incorporated a provision in the Labour Act- 2013 of making 10 per cent apprenticeship system for young job seekers as a compulsory responsibility for all private companies.

But the report mentioned that around 79 per cent companies do not have any apprenticeship system while around 80 per cent of them lack sufficient skilled manpower.

“We are working to encourage all private companies to reserve 10 per cent for apprenticeship for the unemployed youth so that they can be skilled and engaged in work at home and abroad”, said Mikail Shipar, Labour Secretary.

Private companies can also play a pivotal role in the country’s development by removing unemployment as a part of their CSR activities, said Shipar.

In its effort to fight child labour, Save the Children-Bangladesh, has implemented a project through CSR in Bangladesh reaching out to almost 12,500 vulnerable children and youth engaged in hazardous work in urban areas.

The initiative has helped in improving the working conditions of over 10,000 children in the formal sector. It also helped to build capacity of over 1,000 children to carry out advocacy for their own rights and better working conditions.

Approximately, 280 informal and 20 formal companies are collaborating with the project.

 

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