Burma Campaign UK slams Comic Relief/DHL link

Burma Campaign UK has attacked a CSR partnership between Comic Relief and delivery firm DHL, whose partner in Burma is the regime-owned enterprise Myanmar Post and Telecoms.

The organisation has launched a campaign to highlight ‘Comic Relief’s Burma shame’ in an attempt to ensure that the partnership is seen as a ‘PR disaster’ for both DHL and Comic Relief. ‘Comic Relief is trying to alleviate poverty, yet it is giving a PR boost to a firm which funds Burma’s military dictatorship and impoverishes people,’ said Burma Campaign UK media and campaigns officer Mark Farmaner.

In response, Comic Relief offered this statement: ‘We work with companies to help us raise much needed money that will reach some of the poorest and most vulnerable people across the world and here at home in the UK.’

Burma Campaign UK plans to hold a number of visual stunts and protests to attract media attention among charity and postal trade press as well as the society and business sections of national newspapers.

It is also targeting investment funds and CSR conferences with information about the reputational risks of being associated with DHL and is lobbying MPs to stop DHL subsidiary, Deutsche Post, from entering the UK postal market.

DHL claimed its aim is to be a ‘positive influence for good, by providing training and employment to local staff’. It also pointed out that many of its clients in Myanmar include humanitarian relief agencies that rely on DHL to reach the outside world.

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