Burma continues to fail to eliminate forced labour: ILO

by Mungpi
Friday, 20 November 2009 19:28

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The International Labor Organization’s (ILO)’s Governing Body on Thursday said Burma’s ruling military junta has failed to implement recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry in eliminating the use of forced labour.

The Governing Body’s decision was made on the information presented by the ILO’s Liaison Officer, and the statement made by the Permanent Representative of the Government of the Union of Myanmar (Burma).

The decision notes that Burma has so far failed to fully comply with the Forced Labour Convention, No. 29 (1930), the implementation of recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry and the complete elimination of the use of forced labour in the country.

The decision recalls past conclusions and urges the Burmese authorities to issue a statement against the continued use of forced labour and the need to respect freedom of association.

The Governing Body also urges the Burmese government to allow cases of forced labour to be reported and to consistently follow-up so that the practices cease and the perpetrators are prosecuted and punished.

“Particular attention should be paid to monitoring infrastructure projects such as oil and gas pipelines,” the resolution said. The ILO and Burma in February 2009 extended the Supplementary Understanding that provides a mechanism for Burmese citizens to lodge complaints of forced labour through the ILO Liaison Officer in Rangoon.

The agreement retains the provision that ensures freedom from harassment and retribution for complainants and other persons, who support the operation of the complaints mechanism.

Despite the agreement between the ILO and the Burmese government, Human Rights activists said forced labour persistently continued to be practiced in the country.

The Governing Body on Thursday also called for “the immediate release of all persons currently detained, who are complainants, facilitators and others associated with the Supplementary Understanding complaints mechanism, as well as for the unconditional release of all imprisoned political and labour activists.”

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