Sweden-based clothing retailer H&M is probing into 20 alleged cases of labour abuse at its manufacturing factories in Myanmar, according to a report by Reuters.

This comes after an investigation by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), which revealed 156 cases of labour abuses at garment factories in the country from February 2022 to February 2023, increasing from 56 in the same period the prior year.

A report by BHRRC shows that wage reduction and wage theft were the most frequently reported allegations in the country, accounting for 55% of the allegations.

It also includes unfair dismissal, inhumane work rates and forced overtime.

The BHRRC reportedly tracked cases of alleged abuses through sources such as union leaders, and international and local media.

The human rights group seeks to verify these reports by checking with brands and interviewing workers.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

Myanmar’s military government and the Myanmar Garment Manufacturing Association did not respond to Reuters‘ request for comment on the BHRRC findings.

Reuters quoted H&M as saying: “All the cases raised in the report by BHRRC are being followed up and, where needed, remediated through our local team on the ground and in close cooperation with relevant stakeholders.

“We are deeply concerned by the latest developments in Myanmar and we see increased challenges to conduct our operations according to our standards and requirements.”

This news comes closely after Inditex, owner of retail brands Zara and Bershka, decided to phase out purchasing clothes from Myanmar.

Over a two-year period, 21 cases of alleged abuses have been connected to suppliers of Inditex.

In October last year, Marks and Spencer revealed plans to stop sourcing from Myanmar amid concerns over human rights violations in the country.