ILO Wants Progress on Forced Labor in Burma

31 Jul 2006   |  ASEAN Migrant Workers   |  Burma  

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

ILO Wants Progress on Forced Labor in Burma

The International Labour Organization concluded the 295th session of its Governing Body by expressing \"profound concern\" over Burma’s lack of progress in ending forced labor in the country. In a statement released on Monday, the ILO called on the ruling junta to stop prosecuting those who report cases of forced labor and release anyone already prosecuted, such as activist Su Su Nway and lawyer Aye Myint. \"In particular, the determination expressed by the Myanmar [Burmese] authorities to prosecute individuals involved in lodging ‘false allegations’ represented a further deterioration in the situation which seriously undermined any prospect of progress, and was in direct contradiction with the conclusions adopted at the International Labour Conference in 2005,\" the statement said.

When the ILO convenes its 93rd session of the International Labour Conference, from May-June 2006, it will review further action \"to be taken to effectively secure the compliance by Burma with this convention as well as ways to ensure that no action would be taken against persons or their representatives who complained about forced labor.\"

Further action may include referring Burma to the Court of International Justice, as the ILO’s Commission of Inquiry has stated that forced labor in Burma constitutes a crime against humanity. A report explaining all options being considered by the ILO is expected in mid-May. \"It was understood that the Office would take these into consideration in preparing its analysis of the options,\" the ILO statement concluded. \"In the meantime, all remaining possibilities to resolve the issue should continue to be pursued.\"

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