Narinjara News

ILO Team visit western Burma

Maungdaw, 1
st 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#