ICAR and ALTSEAN-Burma Launch Comprehensive Study of Business and Human Rights Laws and Practices in Myanmar

(Yangon, December 7) ICAR and ALTSEAN-Burma formally launched the “Shadow” National Baseline Assessment (NBA) of Current Implementation of Business and Human Rights Frameworks in Myanmar today.

The NBA was the result of a year-long project between ALTSEAN-Burma and ICAR. It examines legal and policy gaps, and contains concrete recommendations for reform. This work represents one of the most exhaustive studies of Myanmar laws, policies, and practices that pertain to business and human rights.

"As foreign investments hit record high in recent years, Myanmar needs to have in place adequate laws and policies, as well as competent judiciary and enforcement agencies. We need to ensure that businesses are playing by the rules, and that everyone in Myanmar, not just the military elites, is benefiting from the new economic opportunities," said Debbie Stothard, Coordinator of ALTSEAN-Burma.

The NBA found that despite numerous legal and economic reforms since the country's transition to democracy starting in 2011, a number of holdover problems from the military rule remain. The rule of law, including the administration of justice and law enforcement, remains weak. Corruption is endemic. Discrimination and abuses against women and ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities continue. Human rights abuses linked to business activities are routine.

“When it comes to respect for human rights in the context of business activities, the consequences of inaction are severe,” said Amol Mehra, ICAR's Executive Director. "We hope the results of this NBA will be utilized to push for legal and policy reforms in Myanmar, and ultimately inform the creation of a National Action Plan on business and human rights," he said. 

The NBA is available for download here

For media inquiries, please contact ICAR's Executive Director, Amol Mehra at amol@icar.ngo. For further information, please contact ICAR's Legal & Policy Coordinator, Sophia Lin at sophia@icar.ngo or +1 202 296 0147.