Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights of Female Workers in Bangladesh Readymade Garments

  • Umme Sumaiyah

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The aim of this research was to assess, compare, contrast, and scrutinise the practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Bangladesh Readymade Garments (RMG). The thesis also assessed the need to improve CSR of these organisations, and Bangladesh was chosen as the focus of this study because CSR practices are poor there. This study mainly focused on Bangladesh garments, as that industry has been the key export division there over the past 25 years, and it has been one of the main sources of foreign exchange.
This research also focused on comparing and contrasting CSR in Bangladesh with laws and practices in other countries and offers ideas about how RMG companies in Bangladesh can implement CSR practices similar to developed countries. The objective of this thesis was to draw attention to how poorly CSR and human rights are practised in Bangladesh and the severe consequences that continue to affect the people working there. Today, human rights due diligence is a fundamental component of international, regional, and national discussions around corporate accountability for human rights infringement. Businesses are expected to examine actual and potential human rights impacts, integrate and act upon the results, track the responses, and communicate how these impacts are addressed. However, few studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of human rights due diligence and whether its goal of preventing commercial activities with negative repercussions on human rights has been realised in state and company practices.
One goal of this thesis was to evaluate important developments in human rights breaches within Asian factories, with a focus on international labour standards. Using China, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan as examples, the paper demonstrates that the existing labour standards and legal framework, particularly those of the International Labour Organisation, have not yet proved effective in preventing labour abuses in the garment industry. This study attempts to bolster extraordinary efforts already undertaken to further educate consumers about the true cost of their purchasing behaviours.
Another purpose of this study was to analyse the working conditions of Bangladeshi garment workers based on nine variables selected in accordance with International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standards. This researcher explored the extent to which an adherence to the Labour Law of 2006 among Bangladeshi RMG enterprises could contribute to the improvement of working conditions for Bangladeshi labourers.
This thesis also examined the process of integrating sustainability into CSR in general, considering the existing CSR problems in Bangladesh. Sustainability indicators, or the act of incorporating sustainability into CSR, facilitate the simplification, analysis, quantification, and communication of this complex issue’s entire planning system1. This study sought to identify the challenges of CSR and the sustainability prospects of CSR in the Bangladeshi RMG business by analysing these challenges. First, what are the existing CSR difficulties in the Bangladeshi RMG industry, and should they pursue corporate sustainability management?
Date of Award17 Jul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorMunir Maniruzzaman (Supervisor) & Leila Choukroune (Supervisor)

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