UPDATED 9:00 GMT 22 November 2023
Myanmar’s military illegally seized power on 1 February 2021. Since then, garment workers – mostly women – have been on the front line of the country’s Civil Disobedience Movement, risking their lives and their livelihoods to demand an end to the dictatorship and to restore democracy in Myanmar. To maintain power, the military has responded to opposition and dissent with deadly force.
Through collaboration with partners and allies inside and outside Myanmar, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is monitoring the significant increase in labour and human rights abuses of garment workers across the country since the military takeover. This cooperation has enabled the creation of our tracker of allegations of garment worker abuse. By the end of July 2023, this tracker documented 314 cases of alleged labour and human rights abuses, revealing widespread and systemic abuse in international brands’ supply chains. The workers affected by allegations recorded so far are employed at 175 factories producing or formerly producing for at least 87 named global fashion brands and retailers including Inditex, H&M Group, Primark & BESTSELLER.
The data highlights the scale and scope of abuse and the widespread impunity enjoyed by perpetrators. It raises serious questions for apparel brands and their investors regarding their ability to source responsibly, conduct human rights due diligence and protect workers in their supply chain. Wage theft, unfair dismissal and inhumane work rates and mandatory overtime are the most frequently recorded types of abuse. Cases also include killings, arrest and arbitrary detention of workers by the military, gender-based violence, attacks on freedom of association, harassment and child labour. The cases are likely the tip of the iceberg, given the severe restrictions on civic freedoms and reporting under military rule and risk of reprisals for workers who speak out against abuse.
Use the table below to explore allegations data and filter by sourcing brands, factories, issues and workers affected. Companies' responses to allegations, where provided, are available at the response link.
At a glance: Two years of allegations
In the two years after the military takeover, we recorded:
responded to our outreach on allegations of garment worker abuse in Myanmar
by military and armed security forces
involve wage and severance theft
1 in 4
involve attacks against freedom of association
For more information on these findings, please see our latest report.
The Tracker captures publicly reported information on abuses against garment workers. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre does not independently verify the accuracy of the allegations.
Selected case studies
Workers at Solamoda garment factory "in agony" after receiving no compensation following factory fire
Workers sacked after protesting for higher wages, trade union recognition and better conditions at Pou Chen
Falling out of fashion: Garment worker abuse under military rule in Myanmar
Read our briefing on how clothing brands address and practice human rights due diligence and responsible exit in Myanmar, two and a half years after the military takeover.