The CESD participated in the “International Business and Human Rights: Holding Governments Accountable in Asia Conference” organized by The Asia Centre in Bangkok from 12-13th July 2018. The thematic focus of the conference was on human rights in business which follows the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights made by the Human Rights Council in 2011. Over the two day conference, various experts and professionals were given an opportunity to present their findings and discuss human rights aspects from a business perspective.
CESD’s Research Associate, Ms. Hanh Nguyen, had the opportunity to give a presentation on the ‘Effect of Minimum Wage on Employment Security: The Case of Precarious Workers in Myanmar’. The presentation was based on an IDRC-funded workers survey of 525 workers from the food processing and garment factories from Hlaing Thayar in Yangon conducted by CESD in 2016. The paper demonstrated that the minimum wage, set in 2015, had a positive impact on worker’s conditions across three major areas – the increase in basic salary, skills-based bonuses and workers acquiring more employment contracts. Furthermore, the presentation highlighted that by complying with human rights standards like the minimum wage, businesses have the opportunity to improve worker conditions among other indicators.
Upon her return to Yangon, Ms. Nguyen said the conference was “an excellent learning experience and a good knowledge exchange opportunity” and added that she “could see many policy recommendations drawn from this conference that can be applied to the Myanmar context, including the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), land rights and labour rights.”
The conference was attended by representatives from organizations such as Amnesty International, Monash University as well as other civil society organizations, government officials and academics with the aim of sharing knowledge and generating solutions to ensure the respect of human rights when conducting business in Asia.
Read more about CESD’s work on the labour market reforms here: https://myanmarcesd.org/category/labour-market-reform/