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Acknowledging progress on occupational safety and health in Myanmar

June 13, 2019

State Secretary Böhning (second from right) with the leaders of the Myanmar delegation.
State Secretary Böhning (second from right) with the leaders of the Myanmar delegation: Director General Nyunt Win (Ministry of Labour), Secretary General Khine Khine Nwe (Myanmar Garment Manufacturers’ Association) and President Maung Maung (Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar). Dr. Joachim Breuer (left), General Director of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and President of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) also attended the meeting.

On 7 June 2019, State Secretary Björn Böhning welcomed a 10-person delegation made of up high-ranking government representatives and social partners from Myanmar at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in order to learn more about the implementation of the Vision Zero Fund (VZF) in Myanmar. The two sides discussed improvements to occupational safety and health (OSH) in the textile industry and in agriculture, especially in the ginger growing sector.

State Secretary Böhning stressed Myanmar’s important role as the first pilot country receiving support from the Vision Zero Fund. He also stated, Improved occupational safety and health is crucial to ensure decent work in global supply chains. Myanmar is an excellent example of how the Vision Zero Fund has brought about meaningful progress for workers on the ground in just a few years. State Secretary Böhning added that the close cooperation between the government and the social partners on the projects in Myanmar was particularly noteworthy.

The Vision Zero Fund is a global prevention fund aimed at preventing severe and especially fatal work-related accidents in producing countries. The Fund
was established in 2015 during Germany’s G7 Presidency and is implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The G20 group of the leading developed and emerging markets also supports the Fund.

The Vision Zero Fund is already active in seven countries and is currently backed by six governments and the EU, which have contributed more than 12 million euros to the Fund. In order to receive support from the Vision Zero Fund, all stakeholders in a country - especially the government and the social partners - must closely work together and agree on concrete measures in the field of occupational safety and health.