Humanity Research Consultancy

Report on China’s Role in Preventing Modern Slavery in Myanmar’s Jade Mines

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May 10, 2021

Report Publication

Report published in May 2021

We are delighted to publish our report on China’s Role in Preventing Modern Slavery in Myanmar’s Jade Mines. This is the first of its kind report that analyses how and why Chinese corporates and markets involved in jade mining could assert their influence and apply pressure to conflict groups to change and reduce modern slavery practice in Myanmar.

This report was prepared by Humanity Research Consultancy and is written by Laetitia L’homme.

The content of the report was drafted in 2020 — before the recent developments took place in Myanmar, including domestic instability and fluctuating ties with China.

With this report, Humanity Research Consultancy calls on China to adopt legislation and policies on supply chain due diligence. It also calls on Chinese companies to actively follow the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) as well as the new Guidelines for Social Responsibility in Outbound Mining.

It’s awful that multiple types of modern slavery can either be found in the jade mines or are related to the mining operations. This is because jade is vastly profitable, resulting in an industry rife with corruption, conflict, and organised crime. Beijing’s growing presence in Myanmar has gained it a place at the centre of Myanmar’s jade industry. Cooperating with both the Myanmar military and rebel groups, Chinese stakeholders control the entire supply chain.

The report also distinctly emphasises that ending modern slavery in jade mines requires a collective multi-faceted response from the national and local government, ethnic rebel groups operating in the area, and all enterprises in the supply chain.While the Government of Myanmar does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of modern slavery and is not making significant efforts to do so, Chinese investors should step up and take responsibility for protecting their workers and related families from exploitation.

We’re glad that this report reveals locally harvested,  richly nuanced insights that get straight to the heart of issues. At HRC, our local evidence-based insights empower policymakers to end forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking, globally.