After the Myanmar regime placed Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to place sanctions on any imports from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

In response to the vote, and success of their considerable lobbying effort, the American Apparel & Footwear Association issued a statement that said, “The House’s vote is an important step towards ending the human rights crisis that is happening in Burma today.”

The AAFA has clearly focused its concerns on the growing human rights disaster in the country. According to a U.S. government’s Human Rights report, the Myanmar government has “…continued to restrict workers rights, ban unions, and use forced labor for public works… Other forced labor, including child labor, remained a serious problem…”

Now, more than 350,000 Myanmar garment workers have signed a letter petitioning the U.S. to lift sanctions and “keep them out of poverty”. The letter stated, “On behalf of the employees, we would like to request… appreciation and kind understanding of our situation and the very source of livelihood of over 300,000 employees and their dependent families of about 1.5 million people and multiple effects on the whole population.”