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Fair Wear Foundation organised a study visit for stakeholders from Myanmar to engage with representatives in India on ways to address violence and harassment in the workplace. The goal of the trip was to introduce relevant stakeholders from Myanmar on India’s legislative framework and its application in garment factories.
In 2013 India passed legislation to prevent and address the sexual harassment of women in the workplace. Legislation includes practical measures like the obligation to deliver training on sexual harassment and the requirement that companies with more than 10 employees—including garment factories—establish an Internal Complaints Committee.
The visitors attended several insightful meetings with FWF partner organisations SAVE and Cividep, trade unions, and government officials. They took time to visit a factory where the FWF Workplace Education Programme (WEP) has been implemented. At the factory, the group gained a deeper understanding of harassment and how the Internal Complaints Committee can help protect the rights of garment workers.
Participants included representatives of Parliament, International Labour Organization (ILO), Confederation of Trade Unions in Myanmar, Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA), Gender Equality Network, Labour Rights Defender and Promoter (LRDP) and CARE Myanmar.
This trip represented one of the first times that representatives from government, the private sector, unions and NGOs gathered together to engage seriously on the issue of gender-based violence. It resulted in a strong commitment to work together to develop policies which will contribute towards harassment-free workplaces.