ILO Team visit western Burma
March: On 26th
January two officials from the International Labour Organization visited the
northern part of Rakhine State
in western Burma,
according to our border correspondent.
The two officials, Ms Perret Nguyen, ILO Liaison Officer in Rangoon,
and Richard Horsey, Deputy Liaison Officer, visited the brickfield at Doh-dan
village, under Ngakhura Nasaka 5 Area under Maungdaw
Township, where they exchanged
views with the alleged owner of the kiln, Shafi 35, and ten other
workers. Then they continued their trip towards Ngakhura bazaar where
they made inquiries about the taxation, revenue collection, payment of tolls,
and the overall process of the buying and selling and transportation of goods
to the market.
Afterwards the team headed to Nasaka border security Area No. 5 Headquarters
nearby. There they inquired about the use of forced labour in the
above-mentioned brickworks and construction of the Laungdung
Bridge, the longest bridge on the Maungdaw Kring-chaung Road.
The Nasaka officials denied the presence of forced labour in the
brickfield. To the inquiry about the Laungdung Bridge they replied that
the construction of the bridge had been entrusted to a contractor through due
process of the issuance of tender, so they have nothing to do either with the
construction process or employment of any of the workers involved.
The nearby villagers when asked told to our correspondent that Shafi who
demanded to be the owner of the brick kiln is actually an agent of the Nasaka
security forces who has been used as a stand-in to run the brick kiln on behalf
of the Nasaka. To a question Shafi also told to the visiting ILO
officials that, he gives half of the brick produced in the works to Nasaka Area
5 for obtaining official permission for operating the brick kiln.
The ILO officials also visited to other townships in the western part of Burma
including Buthidaung Township
to investigate the wide scale use of forced labour in construction of roads,
bridges, houses, schools, and military installations. #