Myanmar has been in political turmoil since the coup d’état in February 2021.
Violent crackdowns on civil action have raised concerns about human rights abuse on a large scale, provoking global condemnation and country-wide conflict at various intervals over the last year and a half.
There has been an ongoing debate about whether businesses can continue in Myanmar while meeting international standards and responsible business guidelines. To provide greater insight on this issue for the export-oriented garment sector, ETI commissioned an independent evidence-based assessment on the context of human rights and responsible business conduct within Myanmar. This assessment was conducted by Due Diligence Design, with research and analysis from partners Impactt; expert guidance on the implications of the UNGPs from SHIFT; and consultation with OHCHR, OECD and ILO. Download the assessment below.
Myanmar enhanced due diligence sectoral assessment
This assessment will provide our members and other stakeholders in the garment sector with an independent view on the human rights issues in the sector in Myanmar, the complexities of the context and the implications for responsible sourcing.
Peter McAllister - Executive Director, Ethical Trading Initiative.
This significant report, which reflects extensive research and well-founded analysis, provides brands - and the broader business and human rights field - with a unique and valuable resource that should shape their understanding and decision-making with regard to doing business in Myanmar.
Caroline Rees, - President and Co-Founder, SHIFT
Why we commissioned the assessment
The coup d’état in Myanmar has prompted significant deterioration of the respect of human rights in the last 18 months. There is compelling evidence that the military is itself perpetrating abuse of rights against those who oppose it. This creates both an increased challenge and a heightened responsibility for business operating in Myanmar as informed by the UNGPs.
We commissioned this sector-wide study to better understand the situation and how to apply the UNGPs and OECD Guidelines in this context, and how to meet the standards set out in the ETI Base Code in these circumstances. There is currently an absence of both a suitable analysis, or previous experience or the garment sector in such a situation. The assessment set out to answer three key questions:
To what extent can companies in the sector monitor, prevent, mitigate and provide access to remedy (where appropriate) on severe human rights impacts that the sector may be involved with in Myanmar in the current and developing context?
What are the requirements of the UNGPS and OECD guidelines for companies when considering whether to continue sourcing or withdraw from Myanmar in the current context?
What would constitute responsible exit?