313th Session of the Governing Body of International Labour Organisation (March 2012)
Statement by the delegate of India under Agenda Item 6 on developments concerning the question of the observance by the Government of Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention No. 29
1. We have listened carefully to the Statement made by the Ambassador and the Permanent Representative of the Union of Myanmar. We would like to appreciate the considerable progress made, since the last Session of the Governing Body in November 2011, in the observance of the Forced Labour Convention No.29 by the Government of Myanmar, as well as the ongoing cooperation between the Government and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in this matter.
2. We are encouraged to witness path-breaking developments in the political situation in Myanmar including the new Bill “the Ward or Village-tract administration Bill” that would replace the Village and Towns Act 1907, to effectively prohibit the practice of forced labour, that has been approved by the Myanmar Parliament and promulgated by the President, on 24 February 2012.
3. We have also noted efforts by the Myanmar Government for preparation of a new Prisons Bill, a Plan of Action with ILO, on Elimination of Forced Labour and release of persons of interest to ILO. We are pleased to note the successful visit of the High Level Mission from ILO in January 2012 and feel encouraged in the manner in which the Government of Myanmar, is continuing to address issues of concern.
4. We wish to commend the Director-General of ILO and his team for his efforts in assisting Myanmar, to tackle the problem of forced labour and encourage the Government of Myanmar to remain firmly engaged in this cooperative venture.
5. India has consistently encouraged dialogue and cooperation between ILO and the Member States to resolve all outstanding issues. India has been and continues to remain strongly opposed to the practice of forced labour, which is expressly prohibited under our Constitution.
6. In view of the considerable progress made, we concur with the suggestion of the Government of Myanmar that Myanmar should no longer receive the special attention of the ILO as a standing agenda item in ILO meetings.