The current activities of the ILO in Myanmar are governed by an Understanding between the Government of the Union of Myanmar and the International Labour Office concerning the appointment of an ILO Liaison Officer in Myanmar (2002) reached in 2002. According to this understanding, the Liaison Officer's role covers all activities relevant to ensuring the prompt and effective elimination of forced labour in the country. As part of this mandate, the Liaison Officer, in cooperation with the authorities, endeavored to implement strategies to effectively address the root causes of the forced labour situation in Myanmar as identified in particular by the High-Level Team which visited the country in 2001. This Understanding remains in force. However in February 2007 a further Supplementary Understanding between the Government of the Union of Myanmar and the International Labour Office (2007) to advance the objectives of the elimination of the use of forced labour was entered into.
The International Labour Office (ILO) has concluded on 26 February 2007 a Supplementary Understanding with the Government of Myanmar designed to provide, as previously requested by the International Labour Conference and the ILO Governing Body, a mechanism to enable victims of forced labour to seek redress.
The Understanding provides that alleged victims of forced labour in Myanmar will have full freedom to submit complaints to the ILO Liaison Officer in Yangon. The Liaison Officer will then make a confidential preliminary assessment as to whether a case involves forced labour, in order that such cases can be investigated by the Myanmar authorities and appropriate action taken against the perpetrators.
The Understanding incorporates guarantees that no retaliatory action will be taken against complainants. It also provides that the ILO Liaison Officer shall be accorded timely freedom to travel within Myanmar for the purpose of meeting complainants or other relevant persons.
The mechanism has been implemented on a trial basis over 12 months with that trial period being 26 February 2007 - 25 February 2008 and was extended by mutual agreements for the 2nd period now from 26 February 2009 to 25 Feb 2010.
The ILO Liaison Officer in Yangon reports directly to the Executive Director for Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, ED/NORM.