COVID-19 has had devastating effect for tens of thousands of garment workers in Myanmar, mostly women. Sudden reductions in orders for garments and abrupt closure of many factories has left many out of work. Without money to pay rent or buy food, some are pushed into sex work. They risk physical and mental abuse, sexually transmitted infections, extortion and arrest.
Since May, the European Union has already provided 6.4 billion MMK of direct financial support to over 40,000 garment workers who lost their jobs or faced furlough during the pandemic. Through the #MyanKu Fund, this money is transferred directly to them.
As incidence of sex work has risen, Myan Ku is now also directly reaching out to those ex-garment workers pushed into sex work, providing extra assistance and counseling support, offering them an alternative path.