News / Asia

Burmese Pro-Democracy Leader Appeals for Labor Rights

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to reporters after meeting with U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) at her home in Yangon June 2, 2011 (file photo)
Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to reporters after meeting with U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) at her home in Yangon June 2, 2011 (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is appealing to the International Labor Organization for continued help in improving her country’s dismal record on human rights and labor rights. Unable to leave Burma, she made her appeal via video to delegates attending the annual International Labor Conference in Geneva.

In her video message, Suu Kyi, expresses her gratitude to the International Labor Organization [ILO] for its steadfast work on behalf of the Burmese people.  

She said social justice is the base of lasting peace, and few organizations have succeeded in pursuing this goal as has the ILO.  

Burma's pro-democracy leader praised the ILO’s achievements in improving international labor standards, employment and social protection for workers around the world. The 65-year-old Nobel Laureate urged the ILO to build upon these successes to make sure all nations adopt policies, which lead to social justice.  

“Here I would like to make a special appeal for my own country, Burma," said Suu Kyi. "Once upon a time it was considered the nation most likely to succeed in Southeast Asia. But now it has fallen behind almost all the other nations in this region. The work of the ILO in our country has highlighted the indivisibility of social, political and economic concerns.”  

She noted the ILO’s efforts to eliminate forced labor and the recruitment of child soldiers have broadened to include the cause of prisoners of conscience and freedom of expression, and to get Burma’s military leaders to embrace the rule of law.  

The ILO has been combating forced labor in Burma for more than a decade. Little progress has been made to eliminate this practice, despite repeated promises by the military junta to end forced labor and to reform the country’s labor laws.  

Earlier this month, a special ILO committee overseeing the situation of Burma, also known as Myanmar, expressed regret that no substantive progress has been made toward complying with a 1998 Commission of Inquiry to end forced labor and to prosecute those involved in this practice.  

Suu Kyi said the Burmese people have been struggling for political change in Burma for a very long time. She said they are hungry for a society based on social justice joined to political and economic progress.

"We look to the ILO to expand its activities in Burma to help usher in an era of broad-based social justice in our country," she said. "We are particularly concerned that our workers should be enabled to form trade unions, concerned with the highest international standards as soon as possible.”  

In an emotional appeal to the ILO, the Burmese pro-democracy leader notes failure in one nation raises obstacles in the way of progress in all other nations. Suu Kyi said Burma must not be allowed to fail and the world must not be allowed to fail Burma.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid