The International Labour Organization launched a commission of inquiry on Wednesday into complaints that Venezuela is violating standards including freedom of association and workers’ rights to organize. The last such ILO investigation involved Zimbabwe in 2008 and there have been only 12 in the past 60 years, including on forced labor under Myanmar’s military junta.
Forest Legislations 1
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) says decking on luxury yachts made in the UK have illegal wood on them. EU rules dictate that point of origin in the chain of sale must be legally-sourced teak from Myanmar. Princess Yachts International and Sunseeker International, both singled out by the EIA in their statement, will be at the London Boat Show this week.
The yearlong ban on logging across all of Myanmar since April 2016 was lifted at the end of March 2017, and now the Myanmar government says it is on its way to bringing verifiably legal timber to the international market. Although a number of illegal activities were prevented by the government, illegal logging continued during the ban due to insufficiently collaboration. International buyers and local NGOs are concerned that Myanmar is not doing enough to keep its forests safe.
A new report revealed that children as young as 14 years old have been employed in garment factories in Myanmar supplying some of the most popular UK high street brands. Researchers also found overtime problem and wages below the full legal minimum at some of these factories. Brands have responded to the report findings, recognising the issues highlighted and promising to work with their suppliers on improvement.
Myanmar’s National League for Democracy-led Government announced a national logging ban, effective immediately, which will run until the end of March 2017. Satellite data shows the tree cover in Myanmar has lost nearly 5 percent (2 million hectares) from 2001 through 2014. In 2014, Myanmar enacted a ban on raw timber exports. A driving force of Myanmar’s illegal timber trade is demand from China, and Myanmar was once China’s biggest supplier of rosewood in 2013. The demand from china declined in 2015 since China’s economy slowed, and currently, China’s timber trade with Myanmar is officially suspended.