Leading garment brands and trade associations from Europe and the US have called on the Myanmar government to respect the rights of the ethnic minority population of Rakhine State or risk further eroding business and investor confidence.
Sixteen organizations including the Foreign Trade Association, the Fair Labor Association, Ethical Trading Initiative and American Apparel & Footwear Association, expressed their concerns in a joint written statement to the President of Myanmar and in meetings with government ministers.
Since the escalation in violence earlier this year, more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled across the border to Bangladesh. Families have been torn apart and individuals have lost their lives.
The joint statement expresses commitment to the future of Myanmar and its successful development, but calls on the government to take all necessary steps, with the support of international agencies, to bring the crisis to an end and ensure refugees can safely and voluntarily return to their homes and lives.