An International Labour Organisation (ILO) committee backed calls for the release of six people who have been imprisoned for up to 18 months after they sought the help of the agency’s office in the country, and renewed criticism of Myanmar’s military, ILO officials said.
“There is an indication that the use of forced labour systematically by civilian authorities in some areas is reducing,” Steve Marshall, liaison officer for the UN labour agency in Myanmar, said. “The other side is there is no evidence of any change in attitude to the use of forced labour by the military,” he added.
The 183-nation ILO’s committee on standards has assessed Myanmar’s record with forced labour annually since an inquiry concluded that the practice was widespread and systematic there.
It met on Saturday but its conclusions were only due to be published today.
In 2007, Myanmar’s military junta bowed to pressure from the UN labour agency and allowed an official based in the capital, Yangon, to deal with complaints from victims.