A slum apartment complex in Dhakaflickr/ Zoriah
A slum apartment complex in Dhaka
flickr/ Zoriah

Three terrible exclusions

The World Bank’s report on the progress of poverty-reduction in Bangladesh ignores issues of disability, labour safety and violence against women.

More than 1100 dead, many others coping with temporary or permanent disabilities, and people still missing. The 24 April 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse – Bangladesh's worst ever industrial disaster – has left the country reeling and Bangladeshi rights groups working overtime to help affected families.

Nearly two months after the building collapsed, the World Bank (WB) published its ten-year progress report looking at poverty trends in Bangladesh, titled Bangladesh Poverty Assessment: Assessing a Decade of Progress in Reducing Poverty, 2000-2010. "These are impressive achievements!" the report exclaimed while describing the country's success in reducing poverty, and Bangladesh surely deserves some credit. But while the report looked at a wide variety of economic indicators in making its assessment, it failed to address the critical links between poverty and human rights, especially in three areas: disability, labour protections, and gender-based violence.

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Himal Southasian