Geneva, June 1999
Resolution on the widespread use of
forced labour in Myanmar
The International Labour Conference,
Reaffirming that all member States have an obligation to apply fully, in law and in practice, the Conventions that they have voluntarily ratified,
Recalling that Myanmar ratified the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), and the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), on 4 March 1955,
Taking note of the provisions of United Nations General Assembly resolution 53/162 of 9 December 1998 and of United Nations Commission of Human Rights resolution 1999/17 of 23 April 1999, which also address the use of forced labour in Myanmar,
Recalling the decision of the Governing Body to place on the agenda of its November 1999 session an item entitled: "Measures, including recommendations under article 33 of the ILO Constitution, to secure compliance by the Government of Myanmar with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry",
Gravely concerned by the Government's flagrant and persistent failure to comply with the Convention, as concluded by the Commission of Inquiry established to examine the observance of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29),
Appalled by the continued widespread use of forced labour, including for work on infrastructure projects and as porters for the army,
Noting the report (dated 21 May 1999) of the Director-General to the members of the Governing Body on measures taken by the Government of Myanmar following the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry in its report on "forced labour in Myanmar (Burma)";
1. Deeply deplores that:
(a) the Government has failed to take the necessary steps to bring the relevant legislative texts, in particular the Village Act and Towns Act, into line with the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), by 1 May 1999, as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry;
(b) at the end of the twentieth century, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has continued to inflict the practice of forced labour -- nothing but a contemporary form of slavery -- on the people of Myanmar, despite repeated calls from the ILO and from the wider international community for the past 30 years;
(c) there is no credible evidence that those exacting forced labour in Myanmar have been punished under section 374 of the Penal Code;
2. Reaffirms that this issue should be further considered by the Governing Body in November 1999.
(a) that the attitude and behaviour of the Government of Myanmar are grossly incompatible with the conditions and principles governing membership of the Organization;
(b) that the Government of Myanmar should cease to benefit from any technical cooperation or assistance from the ILO, except for the purpose of direct assistance to implement immediately the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, until such time as it has implemented the said recommendations;
(c) that the Government of Myanmar should henceforth not receive any invitation to attend meetings, symposia and seminars organized by the ILO, except such meetings that have the sole purpose of securing immediate and full compliance with the said recommendations, until such time as it has implemented the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry.
Updated by HK. Approved by RH. Last update: 26 January 2000.