This story was written by the ILO Newsroom For official ILO statements and speeches, please visit our “Statements and Speeches” section.

ILO, Myanmar agree on facilitator to help end forced labour

The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Juan Somavia, today welcomed a formal understanding negotiated between the ILO and the Union of Myanmar for the establishment of a facilitator to assist possible victims of forced labour in Myanmar.

Press release | 14 May 2003

GENEVA (ILO News) - The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Juan Somavia, today welcomed a formal understanding negotiated between the ILO and the Union of Myanmar for the establishment of a facilitator to assist possible victims of forced labour in Myanmar.

In a letter to Mr. U Tin Winn, Minister of Labour of Myanmar, Mr. Somavia said:

"I welcome both the Formal Understanding on the Facilitator to assist possible victims in Myanmar to seek remedies available under the relevant legislation and as provided under the Forced Labour Convention No. 29 (1930) and the reaffirmation of your government's commitment to eradicating forced labour, expressed in this Formal Understanding.

"It is now of utmost importance that the Plan of Action, including the selection of the site for the pilot project, is finalized promptly. As you will recall, the (ILO) Governing Body stressed the importance of concluding this before the International Labour Conference, which starts in Geneva in the beginning of June. I look forward towards discussing the implementation of the Plan of Action with you at the time of the Conference."

Mr. Somavia also reiterated in his comments that the ILO Liaison Officer in Yangon, Ms. Hông-Trang Perrett-Nguyen "will continue to do her utmost for a successful conclusion of the Plan of Action". In addition to the formal understanding on the facilitator, such a Plan of Action would comprise a road-building project in a pilot area; alternatives to the use of forced labour; and information and awareness raising.