Sintesi discussione generale ECOSOC su Birmania
Sintesi degli interventi dei governi e della CISL Internazionale alla Riunione ECOSOC

26 July 2006

Economic and Social Council


Department of Public Information · News and Media Division · New York



Holds General Discussion on Social,

Human Rights Issues, Takes Note of a Number of United Nations Agency Reports



A report (E/2006/11), entitled letter dated 30 June 2005 from the Director-General of the International Labour Organization addressed to the Secretary-General, contains the conclusions of the Special Sitting of the Committee on the Application of Standards of the International Labour Conference concerning the observance by the Government of Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29).  These conclusions were endorsed by the International Labour Conference on 16 June 2005.


General Discussion


Canada commended the International Labour Organization (ILO) for its patient and persistent work in regard to the problem of forced labour in “ Burma”.  Canada had watched with growing unease the unfavourable developments that had been unfolding in “ Burma” with respect to forced labour, and this was part of a long-standing and comprehensive policy that “Burmese” authorities had taken which undermined human rights.  The ILO was in the front line in working to ensure that “Burma” lived up to its commitments, and had been consistently confronted with violations of human rights that showed how closely related these fundamental rights issues were.


NYUNT MAUNG SHEIN ( Myanmar) said that the issue under discussion should be appropriately addressed within the International Labour Organization (ILO). The individuals named in the report on the situation of forced labour in Myanmar had in fact been released. The Government had also taken further measures with regard to forced labour.  It was also willing to collaborate and cooperate with ILO concerning the issue of forced labour.  His county’s name was registered with the United Nations as Myanmar and not as Burma.


VIJAY TRIVEDI (India) said since the conclusion of the ninety-fifth session of the Labour Conference, it had been conveyed that the Government of Myanmar had released a prisoner, and the consultations between the ILO and the Government on a mutually agreed mechanism to eliminate forced labour was in progress.  Consultations had begun and would continue.  These developments were important steps towards eradicating the practice of force labour.  In order to move the process forward, the cooperation extended by Myanmar should be encouraged.  The efforts of the Director-General of the ILO should be commended.  India was strongly opposed to the practice of forced labour, and supported the process of dialogue and cooperation between the ILO and Myanmar.



TERRY MILLER ( United States) said the practice of forced labour in “ Burma”, with the complicity of the regime, was a violation of the ILO Conventions.  The United States had consistently supported the active engagement of the ILO and its efforts to bring an end to the practice of forced labour in “ Burma”, and to move the country away from this practice.  The conclusions of the recent International Labour Conference, and the six-month moratorium on the complaints of those complaining should be made permanent.  The country should engage with the ILO in a mechanism that allowed complaints to be acted on, and that ensured that those complaining would be free from retribution.  Other measures should be taken if the authorities did not take steps to bring an end to forced labour.


SHIGERU ENDO ( Japan) said Japan deemed it a positive sign that the Myanmar Government recently released Aye Myint, following the release of Su Su Nwe.  It also understood that a six-month moratorium on prosecutions had been duly implemented.  While these actions were positive, the situation was still far from satisfactory.  The core issue was the establishment of a credible mechanism that dealt with complaints on forced labour by the end of October.  The Myanmar Government should promptly conduct sincere negotiations with the ILO and reach an agreement on the establishment of the mechanism, including the strengthening of the liaison office, as requested by the ILO.  The ultimate goal was to realise the total eradication of forced labour, and to this end the international community should remain seized of this matter so that the Myanmar Government would take concrete action.


ANDALIB ELIAS ( Bangladesh) said the issue of observance of the situation of forced labour by the International Labour Organization (ILO) with regard to Myanmar had been already discussed and Myanmar had responded, saying it would cooperate with the ILO.


ANDREI MOLTCHAN ( Belarus) said as a member of the ILO Council, Belarus had been keeping a close watch on the implementation of the Convention by Myanmar.  Belarus condemned all forms of forced labour, and was examining the situation.  The various efforts deployed by the ILO were welcomed.  There was a will by the Government of Myanmar to establish a constructive dialogue on the issue, and to implement the recommendations drafted by the International Labour Conference in June.  The representative of Myanmar was thanked for the information on the efforts taken to eliminate the various incidents of forced labour.  It was only through mutual cooperation and respect that results would be achieved


The Council should help the ILO and the Government of Myanmar to further the dialogue to solve this serious problem that should not exist in today’s world.


GUSTI AGUNG WESAKA PUJA ( Indonesia) welcomed the conclusion adopted by the ninety-fifth session of the International Labour Conference to give the Government of Myanmar the opportunity to continue the dialogue with the ILO in order to find a mutually acceptable solution in addressing the issue of forced labour.  He also noted the Government of Myanmar’s decision and actions to implement the recommendations of the session.


LIU ZHONGXIN ( China) said the information provided on the situation in Myanmar by the Ambassador was appreciated.  About one month ago, the ILO had an in-depth discussion on the issue, and the Government of Myanmar, in a spirit of cooperation, responded to the ILO effort and had made progress in certain areas.  In view of the above, China believed the Council should support the Myanmar Government in continuing its cooperation with the ILO, and continue to discuss the framework of cooperation.


MARIA DEL CARMEN HERREA CASEIRO ( Cuba) said on social development, it went without saying that Cuba denounced any and all forms of forced labour.  In the room it had been heard that the compliance with the ILO Convention No. 29 had been discussed in depth within the framework of the ILO, and therefore in the view of Cuba, when it came to discussing the technical aspects, this was not the right place to engage in this discussion, as it had already been held within the framework of the ILO one month earlier.  The Government of Myanmar was working towards improving the situation and adopting measures in close cooperation with the various mechanisms of the ILO.  This theme should remain within the framework of the ILO, as a specialised body, when it came to dealing with such issues.  Work should be done to further dialogue and cooperation between Myanmar and the ILO in order to achieve an improved labour situation.


JARL-HAKAN ROSENGREN (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that in recent years, the human rights situation of Myanmar, including the issue of forced labour, had been addressed in a number of fora.  The European Union was deeply concerned by the information provided by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.  Myanmar continued to implement widespread and systematic forced labour practices, including forced recruitment throughout the country. There was evidence of child labour, including forced recruitment of child soldiers.  It was deeply regrettable that citizens were obliged to be state actors to dedicate themselves without pay to exploitative activities.  The European Union encouraged the authorities in Myanmar to introduce reforms to meet its obligations under the ILO Convention concerning forced or compulsory labour.  The European Union had consistently expressed the view that prosecuting persons who lodged complaints against the exaction of forced labour and tried to obtain redress was unacceptable and should stop immediately.

ASAD M. KHAN (Pakistan) said the delegation of Pakistan denounced forced labour in all its manifestations.  Pakistan appreciated the ongoing dialogue between Myanmar and the ILO and hoped that the discussion would bear fruit.



ANNA BIONDI BIRD, of International Confederation Free Trade Unions, said the Confederation wished to express its severe and grave concern on the human and workers’ rights violations in Myanmar.  The initiatives taken by the ILO were all aimed to bring the military junta to finally implement the recommendations of the ILO Commission of Inquiry, therefore discontinuing the use of forced labour in the country, while ensuring that no action was taken against victims and their representatives who complained to the courts or to the ILO.  The authorities’ total lack

of commitment was clearly expressed in the realities on the ground.  While the situation was still very worrisome, a renewed pressure on the junta coming from international and regional actors encouraged the Confederation.




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For information media · not an official record