Myanmar

While Myanmar has demonstrated significant progress on civil and political rights, FWF continues to regard it as a high risk country, facing specific challenges with regard to implementation of labour standards. Serious challenges remain to adhere to FWF’s eight labour standards in Myanmar. Garment factories in Myanmar particularly face high risks for violations including: low wages, long working hours, repression of union members and strike leaders, poor working conditions, child labour, and the lack of a healthy social dialogue among both employers and unions. In addition, women workers reported they face a high risk of verbal and physical abuse, particularly when they leave work at late hours. These problems are exacerbated by high levels of corruption, land grabbing, and military and crony involvement in local business.

FWF has seen a slow but steady increase in the number of factories in Myanmar from which FWF members source. At present (update November 2016), 11 FWF member companies are (actively) sourcing from 18 factories in Myanmar.

Following the suspension of economic sanctions by the EU, the US and other Western countries,  in June 2012 the board of FWF decided to suspend the requirement for new companies to phase out production in Myanmar factories. It also decided to re-evaluate its position one year later, which led to the issuance of a discussion paper in June 2013 and finally a position paper in December 2013. This position paper indicates a number of requirements for member companies that are sourcing in Myanmar:

  • Avoid production at factories linked to the military, forced labour and/or  land grabbing practices
  • Describe reasons for moving production into Myanmar
  • Specify how conditions for each labour standard in Myanmar will be improved in practice
  • Promote processes that enhance social dialogue in each production factory in the country, preferably select unionised factories
  • Publish wage ladders per factory and cross-check with available benchmarks

These country specific requirements for Myanmar are in addition to FWF’s general requirements for its members. FWF members (that consider) placing orders in Myanmar are required to share in full their due diligence process with FWF to ensure compliance with above points. In addition, FWF maintains and publishes a list of factories that makes transparent where FWF members are sourcing.

In 2016 FWF published its first country study for Myanmar. In addition, it will be establishing its standard verification model including factory audits (including off-site worker interviews) and a local complaints helpline for workers. In addition, in order to enhance worker awareness, FWF translated the Fair Wear Formula video into Burmese and customised its Workplace Education Programme for Myanmar.

Please also check out our video about Thet Thet Zon, a garment worker in Myanmar. Thet Thet talks openly about what she earns and what she spends in the latest FWF video.

Indicators

  1. FWF active: yes
  2. Complaints handler: yes
  3. Audit teams: 1
  4. FWF members sourcing: 13
  5. Number of suppliers: 21
  6. GDP per capita (PPP$): --
  7. Human development rank: 150
  8. Gender rel. development rank: --
  9. Minimum wage (PPP$): 3 600 MMK a day
  10. Population below 2$/day: --
  11. Income equality rank (Gini): --
  12. Child labour (5-15 years): --
  13. Trade union situation

Resources

Resources related to Myanmar

Factories in Myanmar supplying FWF members August 2017

FWF members with production in Myanmar are required to implement add date: 25/08/2017Read more

Myanmar Country Study 2016

This country study should provide a clear and concise picture of the date: 30/11/2016Read more

FWF Updated Position Paper on Myanmar 2013

In May 2010 the FWF board adopted a formal position on Myanmar (Burm date: 21/12/2011Read more

Myanmar Complaint Takko June 2017 Final Report

Final report of a complaint at a factory in Myanmar supplying Takko date: 11/07/2017Read more

Myanmar Complaint Takko May 2017 Final Report

Final report of a complaint at a factory in Myanmar supplying Takko date: 10/07/2017Read more

Myanmar Complaint Fond of Bags March 2017, Final Report

Final report of a complaint at a factory in Myanmar supplying Fond o date: 11/07/2017Read more

Myanmar Complaint Jack Wolfskin Salewa November 2016

Final report of complaint involving Jack Wolfskin and Salewa in Myan date: 01/12/2016Read more

Myanmar Complaint Jack Wolfskin, Salewa & Dynafit Aug. 2016 Final Report

Final report of a complaint at a factory in Myanmar supplying Jack date: 01/08/2017Read more

Myanmar Complaint Mammut, OSC, Deuter Dec. 2016 Final Report

Final report of a complaint at a factory in Myanmar supplying Mammu date: 11/07/2017Read more

Projects

Projects in Myanmar

Workplace Education Programme

FWF members aim for more than participating in auditing. FWF’s Workplace Education Programme (WEP) provides short, targeted onsite training for managers, supervisors and workers. The training aims to raise awareness about the various labour standards and effective methods for communicating about problems and resolving disputes. Managers, supervisors and workers also learn about FWF’s complaints mechanism.

Go to WEP

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