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102nd International Labour Conference

ILO lifts remaining restrictions on Myanmar

The restrictions were related to the country’s non compliance of the ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29).

Press release | 18 June 2013

GENEVA – In a historic move, delegates attending the International Labour Conference (ILC) have voted to lift all remaining ILO restrictions on Myanmar.

The remaining restrictions, imposed by the Conference in 2000, included the need to discuss Myanmar’s application of the ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29) at special sittings of the ILC, and a recommendation to ILO constituents to review their relations with the country.

The ILC had already suspended some restrictions on Myanmar when it met last June.

The ILO restrictions were initially introduced in 1999 and 2000. They were based on article 33 of the ILO Constitution, which the organization invoked for the first time in its history.

The restrictions were introduced after Myanmar failed to act on the recommendations of an ILO Commission of Inquiry, which had been set up to examine whether the country was complying with its obligations under Convention 29.

The Commission found that there was “abundant evidence” that the Myanmar authorities made “pervasive use” of forced labour.

Article 33 allows the Governing Body of the ILO to recommend to member States whatever action it may deem necessary to ensure compliance with the recommendations of a Commission of Inquiry.

The Resolution adopted by the Conference recognizes the progress made in Myanmar and lifts all ILO restrictions on Myanmar. It calls on ILO member states to provide financial support for the elimination of forced labour and invites the Governing Body (the executive body of the ILO) to review the situation in Myanmar on issues relating to ILO activities, including freedom of association and the impact of foreign investment on decent working conditions in the country.

It also requests the ILO and the Government of Myanmar to continue their commitment to the application of the 2007 Supplementary Understanding, the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and all associated action plans for the elimination of all forms of forced labour by 2015.

The ILO Director-General will submit a report to the March Governing Body sessions until forced labour is eliminated from the country.

For more information please contact the ILO Department of Communication and Public Information at communication@ilo.org or +41(0)22/799-7912.

Tags: decent work, forced labour, working conditions, ILO conventions, freedom of association

Regions and countries covered: Myanmar

Unit responsible: Department of Communication (DCOMM)

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