Swedish fashion retailer, H&M, has announced that the company will gradually stop sourcing from Myanmar. This is as reports of labor abuses in garment factories in the country is increasing.
H&M follows similar action taken by Zara owner Inditex, Primark, Marks & Spencer and others.
“After careful consideration, we have decided to gradually phase out our operations in Myanmar.” H&M told Reuters on Thursday, August 17.
“We have been monitoring the latest developments in Myanmar very closely and we see increased challenges to conduct our operations according to our standards and requirements,” The statement added.
H&M said on Wednesday, that the company is investigating 20 alleged instances of labour abuse at Myanmar garment factories that supply the company.
A British-based human rights advocacy group has tracked 156 cases of alleged worker abuse in Myanmar garment factories from February 2022 to February 2023. The number had increased from 56 in the previous year. This could indicate a deterioration of workers’ rights since the military coup in February 2021.
Wage reduction and wage theft were the most frequently reported allegations. This was followed by unfair dismissal, inhumane work rates and forced overtime. This is according to a report by the non-governmental organization, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC).
“All the cases raised in the report by BHRRC are being followed up,” H&M said in a statement.
According to the report, there have been 20 cases of alleged abuses linked to H&M suppliers over a two-year period.
Source: The Guardian