On 13 February 2017, State Secretary Yasmin Fahimi welcomed high-level representatives of the government, unions and employer’s associations from Myanmar to a meeting at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. At the invitation of State Secretary Yasmin Fahimi, Director-General for General Labour Laws Inspection Win Shein, union leader Maung Maung and Secretary General of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association Khine Khine Nwe met with German representatives from unions and employer's organisations such as the DGB (German Trade Union Confederation), the BGHW (Employers' Liability Insurance Association for the Retail and Goods Distribution Industry), the DGUV (German Social Accident Insurance) and the ILO (International Labour Organization).
The talks focused on the topics of occupational safety and health, accident prevention and on social partnership between unions and employer’s organisations. Myanmar is the first pilot country for the Vision Zero Fund, which aims to strengthen occupational safety and health in low-income producing countries. The Fund was established in 2015 by the G7 Heads of State and Government during Germany's G7 Presidency at the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. During the meetings, State Secretary Fahimi stressed that a constant dialogue between representatives of labour and management was essential for successful and effective worker protection. "We are supporting Myanmar in addressing the challenges in the area of occupational safety and health and accident prevention." Since the launch of the Fund in June 2016, Myanmar has seen positive developments in occupational safety and health in the textiles sector, as well as in areas of agriculture.
At the global level, Germany has put the issue of "sustainable global supply chains" on the G20 agenda as an issue to focus on. The aim is to further strengthen the Vision Zero Fund in this regard. As part of their trip, the delegation from Myanmar will thus also participate in the second meeting of the G20 Employment Working Group in Hamburg from 15 to 17 February 2017. In total, the group will spend a week in Germany to become acquainted with occupational health and safety measures in Germany from both the legal and practical point of view.
Picture above from left to right: Director-General for General Labour Laws Inspection Win Shein, State Secretary Yasmin Fahimi, Secretary General of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association Khine Khine Nwe, Union Leader Maung Maung. Source:Baller/BMAS