The goal of C&A Foundation is to transform the fashion industry into a force for good. That means not only making grants to change industry practices, but also using our collective power to strengthen the communities in which we work.
In 2016, C&A Foundation began supporting initiatives in Myanmar. Our goal was to create a fair and equitable garment industry, working closely with stakeholders, including government, to improve conditions for garment workers.
We are deeply concerned by evidence of ongoing persecution and human rights violations by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya people. The United Nations and members of the international community have described the ongoing conflict in Northern Rakhine states as ethnic cleansing. We believe that it is the responsibility of the Myanmar government to protect all populations within the country affected by conflict and allow for the safe passage of humanitarian assistance.
As part of our commitment to fundamental rights, equality and diversity, C&A Foundation has decided that we cannot continue our philanthropic work in Myanmar in the current climate.
While we will fulfil our ongoing commitments, C&A Foundation is pausing new grant-making. We are also increasing our support to humanitarian relief and the prevention of gender-based violence and human trafficking amongst the growing refugee population in Bangladesh.
We are hopeful that the government can implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan but until an acceptable solution has been found for the Rohingya community, this pause is indefinite.