The Burma Campaign UK today called on Cotton Traders to stop sourcing clothes from Burma, or face a boycott campaign, to be launched on Wednesday 15th October.
Clothing exports are an important source of income for Burma’s brutal military dictatorship. Burmese trade unions have called on companies not to source clothing from Burma, as the clothing exports help to fund the dictatorship. The USA banned imports of clothing from Burma in 2003. More than 130 major high street clothing retailers, including M&S, Next, ASDA, H&M, Debenhams, House of Fraser and BHS, have policies not to source from Burma.
The Burma Campaign UK approached the company after one of their supporters found an item purchased from the Cotton Traders 2008 Catalogue had ‘Made in Myanmar’ labels. Myanmar is the name Burma’s military dictatorship have given Burma. Campaigners have established that at least two items of clothing sold by Cotton traders have ‘Made in Myanmar’ labels.
“Companies sourcing clothes from Burma are helping to fund a dictatorship that uses rape, torture and murder to oppress its own people,” says Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK. “Customers of Cotton Traders will be shocked to hear they are involved with this brutal dictatorship.”
Burma appeals to manufacturers because of its very cheap labour, ban on trade unions and lack of health and safety laws. Factory wages are as low as 5p an hour. A factory employee working 60 hours a week could earn just £3.
For more information contact Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer of the Burma Campaign UK, on 020 7324 4714
Note to editors:
The British Government has a decade long policy of discouraging trade with Burma and has called on British companies not to operate there.
The Burma Campaign UK’s report on the role of the clothing industry in financing the Burmese regime is available here: Report