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UN mission on Myanmar finds military-business ties

Sep '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Hong Kong-based apparel brand Esprit has said it will stop sourcing from a garment unit located in an industrial park linked to Myanmar's military in a recent United Nations report. The report by the UN International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on Myanmar identified two industrial zones owned by military conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. (MEHL).

Other brands, including H&M and Bestseller, have said they will assess the situation. The UN has urged international companies to cut ties with military-linked businesses.

The FFM report, released in early August, also identified Myanmar Wise-Pacific Apparel Yangon Co. as a joint venture between MEHL and South Korea's Pan-Pacific Co.

The report detailed an extensive business empire controlled by Myanmar's military, known as the Tatmadaw, which has carried out a brutal crackdown against the country's Rohingya Muslims, according to a press release from the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.

Revenue from the vast empire, which spans from construction, gem extraction and insurance to tourism, banking and manufacturing, enabled the military to avoid accountability and provided financial support for operations linked to human rights violations, the report said.

Among those sourcing from factories within MEHL-owned industrial zones in Yangon, specifically the Ngwe Pinlae Industrial Zone and Pyinmabin Industrial Zone , were Next, Bestseller, H&M, Marks & Spencer, C&A and Esprit.

Esprit told a Japanese media house it has investigated its supply chain and will sever ties with the Perfect Gains Garment Manufacturing factory inside Ngwe Pinlae from which it sources. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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September 2021

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