4.July 2011 KIC news
The Burma government has repeatedly denied the use of forced labor to international organisations, but villagers from Dweh Loe township in Papun district say the Burma army has forced men, women and including children, some as young as 11 to porter rations for their troops.
In March 2010, in his report to the UN Human Rights Council, Tomas Ojea Quintana, the special rapporteur for Myanmar, detailed a “pattern of gross and systematic violation of human rights which has been in place for many years.”
In January this year the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva examined Burma’s human rights record as part of its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Burma’s delegation, led by Deputy Attorney General Dr. Tun Shin, categorically denied state-orchestrated widespread, systematic and persistent human rights violations against the people of Burma.
Meanwhile in eastern Burma the army continued to abuse civilians. In a four-month period beginning in early January until the end of April this year, the Burma army used a rotation system where they forced civilians from 10 villages in Dweh Lo Township in Papun district to carry army supplies.
Light Infantry Brigade 215 and Infantry Brigade 96 of South Eastern Command run the army camps located in Win Maunge village. The camps have a combined strength of about 400 soldiers. In order to supply their outposts on the frontlines, they rely on forcing villagers to be porters.
A 22-year-old villager, who was forced to be a porter told Karen News he saw people as young as 11 and as old as 60, forced to porter.
“Our village was ordered that every household had to transport five sacks of rice. My father and my 16-year-old brother and I had to carry the sacks. I also saw children as old as 11 being used as porters. It took us a one-day round trip place to carry the supplies to the camp. Young children had to be helped by their parents’ as they got tired. They [Burma army] ordered the village head to arrange the porter roster. No one wanted to go, we go out of fear…we have no choice.” Continue reading “Dweh Loe township in Papun district say:Burma: Children forced to carry frontline supplies”