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ILO Extends Agreement to Monitor Labor Rights in Burma


Burma's military government has renewed for a year an agreement allowing the United Nations to monitor complaints of forced labor.

Burmese state-controlled media report the agreement was reached Tuesday during a visit by a group of International Labor Organization officials.

A state-television report said the ILO delegation, led by the U.N. agency's executive director Kari Tapiola, met with Burma's Minister of Labor U Aung Kyi.

Norway-based rights group, the Democratic Voice of Burma, says the ILO delegation will also meet with labor advocacy groups during its week-long stay in the country.

The Geneva-based ILO first signed an agreement with Burma in 2007 with the goal of curbing forced labor, based on the country's existing laws.

Burma has agreed not to punish those who complain of forced labor.

In November, the U.N. agency reported that the military authorities still use forced labor in infrastructure projects, such as oil and gas pipelines. The report said the number of complaints of forced labor is increasing.

Burma's government insists authorities are making efforts to eliminate forced labor, and also recognize the right of people to protest the practice.

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