Wednesday, 2 May 2012

European Burma Network: Investment and trade in Burma

The European Burma Network has released a statement on "Investment and Trade in Burma", which addresses some concerns about the possibility of labour rights violations following from the country's current economic transformations and the increase in foreign investment in labour intensive industries. I excerpt the relevant sections here:
The European Burma Network warns companies not to view Burma simply as a country where they can exploit cheap labour... The UN Special Rapporteur on Burma also raised the possibility of a shift towards different types of abuses in a changing economy. “Given the wave of privatisations last year and the expected increase in foreign investment, along with the new government’s plans to accelerate economic development, I also fear an increase in... violations of economic, social and cultural rights,” ... Burma lacks laws to regulate companies, to protect workers... The European Burma Network will work with, and in support of, local communities and workers to monitor the activities of European companies operating in Burma. Companies which... are linked to any human rights abuses, exploitation of workers or suppliers... will be targeted for high profile campaigns by members of the European Burma Network. These could include boycotts, protests, shareholder actions and exposure in the media of their links to any abuses. All national and international legal options will also be pursued.

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