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Fashion brands should urgently consider pulling production out of Myanmar if they do not guarantee the protection of garment workers in the country’s factories, a new report suggests.
In the year Following the military takeover in February 2021, the workers are facing a flood of labor and human rights abuses. Protest, Harassment and Intimidation: Abuse of Garment Workers under Myanmar’s Military Rule A report published by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center (BHRC), an international NGO with offices in London and New York.
The BHRC developed a Myanmar Garment Worker Allegations Tracker documenting more than 100 labor and human rights violations involving at least 60,800 garment workers. Wage deduction and wage theft included 55 cases. 35 cases of guardianship work standards and mandatory overtime; 28 Gender-based violence and harassment; 15 arbitrary arrest and detention of workers; and reports that seven garment workers were killed by soldiers. There were 31 attacks on freedom of association, no fewer than 55 trade union activists were killed and 301 trade union leaders and members were arrested.
BHRC’s head of labor rights, Alisha Kambai, said the time has come for action. “Brands need to wake up to the harsh reality that there are no good working conditions in Myanmar,” she said in a statement. “Continuing business as usual is no longer about helping to ‘protect jobs and workers,’ as it is often said.”
The lawsuit details 70 factories, including at least 32 global fashion brands and retailers including Adidas, Moschino, Guess, Fast Retailer (which owns Uniqlo and Helmut Lang), H&M and Inditex.
“Adidas is closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar and is working fully with its suppliers to ensure that the rights of workers in the supply chain are respected,” a spokesperson for the brand said. Vogue business. “We continue to enforce compliance with our standards through diligent activities, including on-site inspections. Since the outbreak of the 2020 pandemic, adidas has increased health and safety requirements for its suppliers, according to WHO information. [World Health Organization] A guide to covid.
H&M and Inditex declined to comment. Vogue business. The other brands contacted had not responded by the time of publication, although in a statement to the BHRC Moschino said it expects suppliers to respect human rights and uphold international human rights and labor standards.