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Dear Moses and David,
Hi again! Thought that the following press release may interest you. Very
significant and almost unprecedented move by the ICFTU/ILO.
Call me for further details.
> INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS (ICFTU)
> ICFTU OnLine...
> Trade unions and employers of the world united against the Burmese junta
> Brussels/Geneva, 15 June 1999 (ICFTU OnLine): Employers and trade union
> organisations have joined forces, a rare event at the International Labour
> Organisation, to ask the UN agency to refuse to give Burma any technical
> assistance and to ban representatives from the country from attending its
> meetings, because of the systematic use of forced labour by the ruling
> military junta.
> In a letter addressed to the President of the International Labour
> Conference, the ILO's annual general assembly currently in session in
> Geneva, the presidents of the workers' and employers' groups underline the
> blatant flouting by the government of Myanmar (the name the military junta
> has given to the country) of the recommendations made last year by the ILO
> commission of inquiry. Although refused entry into Burma, the commission
> did interview 250 eye witnesses and put together a document of over 6,000
> pages. In its report it concluded that: "the obligation to suppress the
> use of forced or compulsory labour is violated in Myanmar in national law
> as well as in actual practice in a widespread and systematic manner, with
> total disregard for the human dignity, safety and health and the basic
> needs of the people."
> In May, the Director General of the ILO, Mr. Juan Somavia, pointed out in
> a report that went to the members of the Governing Body of the UN agency
> that no measures had yet been taken by the Burmese authorities to follow
> the recommendations. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
> (ICFTU) has provided fresh evidence of forced labour based on many
> different sources within the country. The ICFTU estimates that over
> 800,000 Burmese are subjected to forced labour.
> In their joint resolution, the trade unions and employers represented at
> the ILO noted that none of the people involved in the use of forced labour
> had been prosecuted so far. The failure to punish those responsible is
> also deplored by the ICFTU, which classifies this modern form of slavery
> practised in Burma as a crime against humanity.
> Some 2,000 delegates representing governments, workers and employers from
> the 174 Member States of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are
> attending the annual conference, which will end on Thursday in Geneva.
> The ICFTU represents 213 trade union organisations in 145 countries, a
> total of 125 million workers worldwide. It coordinates the activities of
> the workers' group within the ILO.
> Contact: ICFTU-Press at: ++32-2 224.02.12 (Brussels). For more
> information, visit our website at: (http://www.icftu.org).