309th Session of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization
Statement by delegate of India on Agenda Item on Developments concerning the question of the observance by the Government of Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention No.29.
We have listened carefully to the statement made by the Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar. We would like to appreciate the progress being made 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 Organization (ILO) in this matter.
We feel further encouraged by the recent developments that have taken place which include most importantly the extension of the supplementary understanding between ILO and Myanmar for a further period of 12 months beginning 26 February 2010. We have also noted the intention of the Government to introduce legislation in Parliament after the November 2010 elections which will be in conformity with the Forced Labour Convention No.29.
We also believe the awareness workshops jointly conducted by the Liaison Office in Myanmar and the Ministry of Labour will play their role in imparting training for eliminating forced labour through realization of the rights and remedies available to the local population. Further, the publication of the supplementary understanding and a brochure on the law pertaining to forced labour by the Government would also help in increasing awareness in the country. We also note that the mutually agreed mechanisms between the Government and the ILO, including the complaints mechanism are functioning properly.
We feel encouraged by the reports that under-age recruitment and forced labour is being systematically tackled. Appropriate punitive measures are being applied to discourage the practice. This will discourage any sense of impunity that may persist.
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.
We wish to commend the Director General of ILO and his team for their 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.
Thank you, Chairperson.