Myanmar’s garment factories cater to leading international brands including New Look and H&M. But these factories indulge in violations like low wages, unlawful deductions, very low levels of unionisation, excessive and unpaid overtime, a lack of proper contracts and child labor.
The development of some garment factories has been linked with land rights violations. Local and international labor laws are completely ignored, despite continued protestations by brands sourcing from Myanmar that they are working to bring the country's garment sector in line with internationally accepted CSR standards. Many factory workers do not even receive the minimum wage, which in Myanmar is one of the lowest in the world.
There is a need for companies to carry out a risk assessment of human rights or labor rights violations before starting business in a particular state, region or production facility. The garment industry is one of the most labor-intensive manufacturing industries in the world. Clothing companies are constantly on the lookout for production locations that can make clothes more quickly and at lower costs. Over the past few years, Myanmar has rapidly become a popular sourcing destination for the garment industry – due to a huge pool of cheap labor and favorable trading conditions.