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REPORT OF THE ILO TECHNICAL MISSION
- Subject: REPORT OF THE ILO TECHNICAL MISSION
- From: darnott@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 04:37:00
REPORT OF THE ILO TECHNICAL MISSION TO BURMA
The report is now in PDF format on the ILO website at:
Pending fuller analysis, I would like to highlight a couple of points:
page 10, 2nd paragraph, report of meeting with Secretary-1: "... Although
acknowledged that there might have been recourse to so-called forced labour
when work was being carried out on the infrastructure, THESE PRACTICES HAD
CEASED BEFORE THE ILO REPORT HAD BEEN CONCLUDED" [emphasis added]
This statement denies the findings of the ILO follow-up reports of 1999 and
that forced labour had not ceased following the publication of the report
Commission of Inquiry:
It also denies the condition under which the Technical Mission was sent,
namely that "the sole object of such a mission would be to provide direct
assistance to implement immediately the recommendations of the Commission
of Inquiry..." (page 1, para 1) If forced labour no longer exists, there
is no point in requesting assistance in implementing the recommendations.
Another point worth noting is found on page 11 of the report, "The
mission's conclusions", para 1:
"The letter from the Minister of Labour to the Director-General
constitutes, in a way, the results of
The report states (page 2) that "in order to convince the Conference, the
results would have to be concrete and precise and involve a commitment by
the authorities at the highest level...."
Unfortunately, the letter (page 14 -- see below) contains the same old
tired list of vague assurances and generalities the ILO has been hearing
for the last decade or more, and in my view is unlikely to convince the
David Arnott, Geneva.
Communication dated 27 May 2000 from the
Government of Myanmar to the Director-General
I wish to express my appreciation to you for responding positively to our
request to send a technical cooperation mission to Yangon.
I am pleased to inform you that the members of the technical cooperation
mission and the senior officials from the Ministries of Labour, Home, and
Foreign Affairs and Attorney-General's Office were able to hold extensive
discussions on Convention No. 29. I also had useful discussions with the
members of the technical cooperation mission. Despite their brief stay,
they also had the opportunity to call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs
and the Minister for Home Affairs.
Moreover, His Excellency Lt. General Khin Nyunt, Secretary-1 of the State
Peace and Development Council, took time out of his very busy schedule to
receive the members of the technical cooperation mission and acquainted
them in a frank and open manner with the actual situation in the nation.
These discussions had been very useful and clarified issues where there
have been differences of perception.
The Government also provided every assistance to facilitate their work and
allowed them freedom of action. Our only regret is that due to constraints
of time, they were not able to visit outside Yangon so that they would have
a better understanding of the situation in the country.
It is our hope that through the discussions and the cooperation the mission
enjoyed during the sojourn in Myanmar, we have been able to show that
Myanmar is sincere in its efforts to resolve the issue of the allegations
of forced labour.
I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that we have taken
and are taking the necessary measures to ensure that there are no instances
of forced labour in Myanmar. Allow me to say that Myanmar would take into
consideration appropriate measures, including administrative, executive and
legislative measures, to ensure the prevention of such occurrences in the
In this regard, the talks held between Myanmar and the ILO technical
cooperation mission have been most useful in providing a better
understanding of the issues involved and it is our ardent hope that this
process of consultation and technical cooperation within the framework of
the ILO recommendation will continue in working toward the resolution of
the matter. On my part, I look forward to meeting you during the coming ILC.
Accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
(Signed) Major General Tin Ngwe,
Minister for Labour,
Union of Myanmar.