Home » News » H&M probes labour exploitation in Myanmar garment factories

Share This Post

Featured News / HR Trends / Top News

H&M probes labour exploitation in Myanmar garment factories

H&M probes labour exploitation in Myanmar garment factories

According to Reuters, H&M is investigating 20 cases of labour exploitation in Myanmar garment factories where the fashion retailer gets its supplies. This investigation comes on the heels of Inditex, Zara’s parent company and a notable competitor, publicly announcing its gradual withdrawal from Myanmar-sourced goods.

A British human rights advocacy group kept a close eye on the treatment of workers in Myanmar’s garment factories from February 2022 to February 2023, following reports of 156 instances of ill-treatment. This number has increased from 56 cases the previous year, indicating a decline in worker rights protection following the military coup in February 2021.

According to Reuter, the most frequently cited claims in the upcoming report by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) — a non-governmental organisation (NGO) — will be reduced wages and wage misappropriation. Following these allegations, there were reports of unjust terminations, low wages, and mandatory overtime.

H&M’s local teams are investigating the allegations detailed in the BHRRC report, and the company is reportedly taking the necessary steps to resolve the issues. In addition, the company is working closely with all relevant stakeholders to address the issue appropriately.

With Myanmar’s military rule posing political and humanitarian challenges, the BHRRC has been closely monitoring allegations of labour rights violations in garment factories. This BHRRC monitoring uncovered abuse cases documented across 124 garment units.

To monitor reported instances of potential misconduct, the BHRRC gathers data and tracks cases with the assistance of global media outlets, local platforms such as Myanmar Labour News, and even union leaders. BJRRC validates and cross-checks these reports by speaking with workers from various brands.