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Handling the situation in Myanmar

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24.09.2021

Handling the situation in Myanmar

Positions of the stakeholder groups in the steering committee

Since the military coup in Myanmar, the Partnership Secretariat has been informing the members of the Textiles Partnership on a weekly basis about current developments in the country. It turns out that the military is using increasing violence against opposition members and trade unionists. Against this background, IndustriALL Global Union, ITUC: and the Myanmar Labor Alliance called for a comprehensive boycott against the military junta.

The Steering Committee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles has intensively discussed the situation and possible responses of the Partnership members. There is consensus that Myanmar is a high-risk country in terms of human rights.

In essence, every company purchasing in Myanmar must decide, within the framework of an intensive due diligence assessment, whether a responsible continuation of business relationships and thus the safeguarding of jobs and income is possible in the current situation, or whether these business relationships potentially make a return to democracy more difficult and should therefore also be interrupted due to the extensive restriction of association and workers' rights.

The Steering Committee will continue to address the situation in Myanmar and possible responses. The Partnership Secretariat is tasked with continuing to inform members in the Myanmar Issue Brief and continue coordination with other multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Statements of the representatives of the stakeholder groups in the Textiles Partnership
Economy

The steering committee representatives of the stakeholder group Economy recommend that members purchasing in Myanmar regularly reassess their business relationships in view of the current risk situation and with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders in Myanmar and critically consider whether these relationships can be continued.

Standard Organizations

The steering committee representative of the standard organizations stakeholder group clarifies that the standard organisations do not make general statements, e.B. related to countries/regions, as certifications, including on-site audits, are always case-by-case considerations.

Labour unions and Non-profit Organizations

The steering group representatives from trade unions and non-governmental organizations consider a withdrawal from Myanmar to be the only remaining measure due to the risk situation in order to effectively minimise the risk of further human rights violations in their supply chain in the sense of due diligence. Due to the risk situation and therefore in line with the call of the international trade unions, they demand that all companies withdraw from Myanmar and make this withdrawal as responsible as possible in compliance with their due diligence obligations.

Government

The Steering Committee representatives of the Federal Government endorse the above-mentioned recommendation of the Economic Stakeholder Group. They add the following addition: "In order not to support the military regime in a direct or indirect way, it should be excluded, as far as possible, that business partners or suppliers in Myanmar are associated with the military or that there are direct business relationships with companies owned by the military."