A new project, aiming to help tea workers and little known indigenous communities to improve their living and working conditions, was launched on Sunday.
The European Union will provide about 240,000 Euros (Tk 2.4 crore) under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights to implement the project by the Society for Environment and Human Development, said an EU media release.
“The project has an exciting approach as it combines action research and capacity building. All of us are going to learn a lot during the implementation. The most important would be if - as a result of this initiative - the living conditions of these deprived communities would become more humane," said Philippe Jacques, the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation at the opening.
The new project ‘Mapping and capacity building of tea plantation workers and little-known ethnic communities of Bangladesh’ will be implemented in tea growing areas in the northeast, Chittagong, north-centre, northwest and the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
It has a target population of about 1.1 million people - 600,000 tea workers and 500,000 members of little-known ethnic communities.
The tea workers, often forced in tied and exploitative labor conditions, but also the little-known ethnic communities in the north-center and northwest belong to the most deprived groups in the country. They are often not able to claim even their most fundamental human rights.
For the European Union, democracy and human rights are universal values that should be vigorously promoted around the world.
The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) has a broad scope of action: Its aim is to provide support for the promotion of democracy and human rights in non-EU countries with an annual budget of more than € 150 million (around Tk 1500 crore). Currently the EIDHR is funding more than 1200 projects in over 100 countries.