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Burma: Forced Labour

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received recent reports on trends in the level of forced labour in Burma; and if he will make a statement. (322608)

We continue to be gravely concerned that forced labour, including forced porterage and underage military recruitment remain widespread practices, in marked and continued non-compliance with the Convention on Forced Labour. We note the co-operation, albeit limited, of the Burmese authorities with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) under the ILO’s Supplementary Understanding with the Government of Burma, which includes a complaints mechanism for victims of forced labour. We received a report from the ILO last November on progress in the implementation of the Supplementary Understanding and expect a further progress report in advance of the ILO Governing Body session on Burma next week. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials in London and Rangoon are in regular contact with the ILO liaison officer in Rangoon, and met him most recently on 15 March. The EU presidency will make a statement on behalf of member states at the ILO Governing Body next week.