Carried out for the International Labour Organization (ILO), the study on Job Reservation Policies for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in the Civil Service in Bangladesh provides a comprehensive analysis of the reservation or ‘quota’ policy of the Government for the recruitment of ITPs in government service and the status of its implementation. A high-level workshop held in Dhaka recently reviewed the findings and provided inputs and comments to help finalise the report.

Currently 5 per cent of Class I, II, III and IV government jobs are set aside for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples however according to the study nearly 90 per cent of the seats reserved for ITPs go unfilled.

Speaking at the workshop, ILO Deputy Director Gagan Rajbhandari said, “It is envisaged that the report will be used as an advocacy instrument and as a basis for policy dialogue towards improving or revising the job quota policy. It is expected that the knowledge generated will also inform possible future measures to address root causes of exclusion, such as limited access to skills training and education.”

According to the report, enhancing access to high quality primary, secondary and tertiary education, including mother tongue-based multilingual education at the primary level is a crucial step. This will help build longer-term capacity of ITP candidates for both government and private jobs, on merit basis as well as for reserved quota positions. Other recommendations include the reservation of a percentage of the ITP quota for members of most socio-economically marginalised ITP communities as well as for ITP women and people with disabilities.

The need to disseminate relevant job data and information in culturally appropriate formats to the general public, including ITPs was identified as was the need for a clearly mandated monitoring mechanism to oversee the effective and non-discriminatory implementation of the ITP Quota policy of Bangladesh both for employment and for admission into educational institutions.

Taking part in the workshop held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel were Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, NDC Secretary, Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs; Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, MP, State Minister, Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs; Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Principal Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office; Aktari Mamtaz, Secretary, Bangladesh Public Service Commission; Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, Member Secretary, National Coordination Committee for Workers’ Education (NCCWE) and the report author Barrister Raja Devasish Roy.