Human rights due diligence key to inclusive development

Full Article: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/opinion/17875-human-rights-due-diligence-key-to-inclusive-development.html 

The  international community greeted the overwhelming victory of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in November’s parliamentary elections with optimism.

This included foreign investors, who welcomed the election results, expecting that the change in government will drive economic growth and lead to the easing of remaining sanctions.

Foreign investment will no doubt increase substantially in this new climate. Of course, this investment has the potential to bring much-needed economic development and jobs.

Yet the new government will face conflicting priorities. It will have to complete a fragile peace process with ethnic groups, tackle corruption and the absence of rule of law, and address serious human rights issues, all while reforming the economic agenda, and ensuring the stability that investors want.

There are serious risks that Myanmar’s natural resources and labour force will only benefit domestic elites and foreign companies, while disadvantaged communities will continue to suffer the negative impacts of poorly regulated business activities,” said Jeff Vogt, ITUC legal director.

“Foreign investors have to undertake human rights due diligence to ensure that the rights of workers they and their suppliers hire are fully protected.”

 

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