FIFTH ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Report of the Commission of Inquiry established to examine
the complaint concerning the observance by Myanmar of
the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), made by
delegates to the 83rd Session (1996) of the Conference
under article 26 of the Constitution of the ILO
1. The Commission of Inquiry established by the Governing Body at its 268th Session (March 1997) in accordance with article 26, paragraph 4, of the Constitution following the filing of a complaint by 25 Workers' delegates to the 83rd Session (June 1996) of the International Labour Conference, adopted its report on 2 July 1998. Copies of the report have already been sent to the members of the Governing Body.
2. The report was communicated to the Government of Myanmar on 27 July 1998.
3. Under article 29, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, the Government shall "inform the Director-General within three months whether or not it accepts the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission and, if not, whether it proposes to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice".
4. The Government's reply, dated 23 September 1998, is appended.
5. The Governing Body will no doubt wish to take note of the report of the Commission and of the reply by the Government of Myanmar.
Geneva, 6 October 1998.
Point for decision: Paragraph 5.
Subject: Report of the Commission of Inquiry
Dear Mr. Director-General,
I acknowledge the receipt of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry sent together with your letter of 27 July 1998, addressed to the Minister for Labour.
You will recall that Myanmar Government formed a High-Level Coordination Committee comprising senior officials from several Government Ministries to deal with the activities of the Commission of Inquiry. This Committee examined the details contained in the Report of the Inquiry Commission.
The Coordination Committee considers that the information provided by some organisations from anti-government circles was politically motivated, highly biased, lacked objectivity and without any goodwill on the part of those organisations.
The Coordination Committee wishes to point out that the Myanmar Government has always been working at its utmost and in good faith for the cause of the country. There could be many different interpretations over a certain event. But it is a fact that the Government has been emphasizing on infrastructural development and socio-economic development programmes in various parts of the country including the remote border areas.
The Government has now made remarkable achievement in national reconsolidation. Seventeen armed groups have already come into legal fold and are joining hands with the Government to participate in the nation building endeavours. There has prevailed unprecedented peace and stability which in the last several years could not even be dreamt.
I should like to call your attention to the fact that as stated in my previous correspondence to you, the Myanmar authorities have reviewed the Village Act and the Towns Act several times on their own initiatives so as to bring in line with present-day conditions in the country as well as to fulfil Myanmar's obligations (as a party to the Convention) OR (as a Member of the International Labour Organisation).
The authorities, therefore, will do their utmost to complete the process within the time-frame referred to in the Report. I may add that we do not see any difficulty in implementing the Recommendations contained in paragraph 539 of the Report.
(Signed) (U Tun Shwe),
Myanmar Permanent Mission, Geneva
International Labour Office
CH-1211 Geneva 22