Workers rights violation in Myanmar US

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Wed Mar 15 07:11:53 PST 2000

15 March 2000

Workers rights violation in Myanmar: US NEW YORK: The US Labour Department has criticised Myanmar's labour practices and asserted that child labour and forced relocation are still widespread and freedom of association and free collective bargaining are virtually non-existent in that country. "The worker abuses in Burma (Myanmar) are symptomatic of the current regime's gross disregard for human rights," Secretary of Labour Alexis Herman said. "This latest report on labour practices in Burma reinforces our position that the international community must continue to push for a democratic transition in that country." In June 1999, President Bill Clinton noted in his address before the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that Myanmar stands in defiance of the ILO's most fundamental values and most serious findings. Herman promised to continue urging ILO to keep Myanmar as a priority item on its agenda for action. "Likewise, I will recommend that the overallinternational community maintain a similar focus on Burma," he said. The Labour Department's Bureau of International Labour Affairs prepared the update, '2000 Report on Labour Practices in Burma', at the behest of the US Congress. The report noted that forced labour is used with impunity and apparently on a widespread basis on such work as construction of roads, dykes, canals, land development, infrastructure to support tourism, in military operations and for commercial ventures of the military. It found that a large number of villagers, particularly ethnic minorities, are subject to forced relocation, which seems to go hand in hand with forced labour. It said the Myanmar government has failed to change laws or practices to guarantee freedom of association and collective bargaining. The ILO's Governing Body is scheduled to consider recommendations for action against Myanmar in the week beginning on March 27. The recommendations will be submitted to the full ILO for action in June. (India Abroad News Service) For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service
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