Tue 31 May 2005
Filed under: International,News
Forced labor will be the focus of the 177-nation International Labor Conference starting Tuesday, with the situation in Myanmar at the top of the agenda.
The conference, which oversees the United Nations’ International Labor Organization, will study a report from its representatives in Myanmar, which the ILO has long accused of using forced labor to aid the military and build roads and other projects.
Last year, the agency said Myanmar failed to make much progress in curbing forced labor and suggested that unless the military leaders take swift action, it would ask its member states to review their relations with Yangon.
Earlier this year, a high-level ILO delegation led by former Australian Governor General Sir Ninian Stephen abruptly cut short a mission to Myanmar, saying it had been denied an expected meeting about forced labor with a top junta official.
Complaints about forced labor are widespread in Asia and also include China’s network of labor camps and reports of forced prostitution elsewhere.
The conference also will address working standards for minors, workers in the occupied Arab territories and the 30 million employees in the world’s commercial fishing industry.