Khaing Zar Aung wins Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights


Khaing Zar Aung wins Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights

Khaing Zar Aung, the courageous trade union leader who has stood up for workers rights in the face of a military junta in Myanmar, has been honoured with the prestigious “Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights” in 2024.

Aung, who emphasized the importance of international solidarity at UNI’s 2023 World Congress in Philadelphia, started working as a garment worker at 16 and later became a key figure in the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) and the Industrial Workers’ Federation of Myanmar (IWFM).

Following the 2021 military coup, she found herself in exile in Germany, advocating for Myanmar’s trade union movement globally. She has been a tireless campaigner against the military junta, mobilizing international solidarity and urging corporations to disengage from Myanmar until democratic rule is restored.

At our World Congress in Philadelphia last year, Khaing Zar Aung shared her insights into the challenges faced by Myanmar’s trade unionists amidst the escalating political turmoil and called for international solidarity.

“With international solidarity and the support of the global labour movement, the trade union movement in the country can keep our struggle going and continue to push for a free and democratic Myanmar,” said Aung in Philadelphia.

The military regime’s three-year reign has claimed at least 4,600 thousands of lives and resulted between 25-30,000 have been arrested including trade union activists. Despite this, the trade union movement has remained at the forefront of resistance, demanding democracy and a federal state.

Khaing Zar Aung symbolizes unwavering dedication to a just society. The Arthur Svensson Prize committee recognizes her as a beacon of hope in Myanmar’s struggle for labor rights and democracy.

The prize ceremony is scheduled for June 12th in Oslo, honouring her contributions to the global trade union movement and Myanmar’s future.



UNI Asia & Pacific