Globalisation, Divestment and Human Rights in Burma

White, Judith A.
June 2004
Journal of Corporate Citizenship;Summer2004, Issue 14, p47
Academic Journal
With increasing globalisation, over the last 15 years several multinational corporations (MNCs) from the US, UK, France, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada and elsewhere have invested in Burma, thus forging the requisite economic partnerships with the Burmese military government. According to the US State Department, the Burmese military regime is directly involved in drug trafficking, as well as displacing, torturing and killing innocent Burmese citizens. This article explores the roles and ethical positions of MNCs as they conduct drilling, extraction, construction, sales, tourism and manufacturing operations that impact local workers, the natural environment and human rights, while economically bolstering the military regime. In this article I examine the pros and cons of divestment white analysing various ethical perspectives on corporate social responsibility in Burma. According to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate and leader of Burma's democracy movement, if MNCs want to help develop a democracy and free-market economy in Burma, they need to divest until a democratically elected government is established.


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