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19 February, 2020 12:53:44 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 February, 2020 09:52:28 AM
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Set up breastfeeding corners at factories

HC orders authorities
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Set up breastfeeding corners at factories

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to set up a breastfeeding corner and baby care unit at all mills and factories across the country within two months. The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice

Md Mostafizur Rahman came up with the directive after hearing a supplementary petition filed by a Supreme Court (SC) lawyer, advocate Ishrat Hasan, and her nine-month-old child, Umair Bin Sadi, seeking a necessary directive in this regard.

The HC bench asked the labour secretary and the director general (DG) of the Directorate of Department of Labour to submit compliance reports before the court after executing its order within the stipulated time.

The petitioner mentioned two separate sections of the Bangladesh Labour Act-2006 in which setting up of breastfeeding corners at mills and factories had been made mandatory.

According to Section 94(1) of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, “In every establishment where 40 or more female workers are ordinarily employed, one or more suitable rooms shall be provided and maintained for the use of their children who are under the age of six years.”

Section 94(7) of the Act says: “The said rooms shall be adequately furnished. In particular, one cot or cradle with bed shall be kept there for each child. There shall be at least one chair or any similar seat for the     use of each mother while she is feeding or attending to her child. Adequate and suitable toys shall be supplied for the comparatively older children.”

Advocate Ishrat Hasan took part in the hearing on behalf of the petition. She said the law was enacted in 2006 for establishing breastfeeding corners in mills and factories. “But it has not been implemented yet. Therefore, we have filed the petition,” she explained.

Following a writ petition, the High Court (HC) on October 27, 2019, had issued a rule upon the government to explain in four weeks as to why they should not be directed to take steps to set up breastfeeding corners and baby care corners at all workplaces, shopping malls, airports, bus stops, and railway stations across the country.

The then HC bench, comprising Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman, had passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by the same petitioners.

In the rule, the HC had asked the authorities concerned of the government to explain as to why the women and children affairs ministry should not be ordered to formulate a guideline to establish breastfeeding corners and baby care corners at public places.

The court had also asked the authorities concerned why their inaction to set up breastfeeding corners and baby care corners at workplaces, shopping malls, airports, bus stops, and railway stations across the country should not be declared illegal.

The cabinet secretary, women and children affairs secretary, health secretary, public works secretary, civil aviation and tourism secretary, and other respondents had been asked to comply with the rule.

The writ petition was filed with the HC on October 24, saying that mothers feel uneasy to feed their children at workplaces, shopping malls, airports, bus stops, and railway stations as there is no specific breastfeeding and baby care corners at those places.

The writ petitioner, advocate Ishrat Hasan, said she recently went to Cox’s Bazar with her baby. She had to wait for five hours in the Cox’s Bazar airport for a flight of US Bangla Airlines to return to Dhaka.

But she did not find any breastfeeding corner at the airport and faced an embarrassing situation.


IK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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