H&M said it is following up on 20 alleged instances of labor abuse at Myanmar garment factories that supply the world's second-largest fashion retailer, just weeks after top rival Zara owner Inditex said it is phasing out purchases from the Southeast Asian country.

A U.K.-based human rights advocacy group tracked 156 cases of alleged worker abuses in Myanmar garment factories from February 2022 to February 2023, up from 56 in the previous year, indicating a deterioration of workers' rights since a military coup in February 2021.

Wage reduction and wage theft were the most frequently reported allegations, followed by unfair dismissal, inhumane work rates, and forced overtime, according to a report by the NGO, the Business and Human Rights Resource Center (BHRRC), that was set to be published on Wednesday.