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ILO adopts resolution calling for a return to democracy in Myanmar

23 June, 2021After rejecting the credentials of the illegitimate military junta of Myanmar, the International Labour Conference (ILC) adopted an important resolution on Myanmar, calling for the restoration of democracy and respect of human rights in the country.

The workers' group in the ILO, consisting of more than one hundred confederations of trade unions in the world, submitted a draft resolution on Myanmar as a matter of urgency on 9 June. ILO’s adoption selection committee officially adopted the resolution on 19 June.

The resolution calls upon Myanmar to restore democratic order and civilian rule, cease all attacks or threats against workers, employers, their organizations and citizens involved in peaceful protests of the civil disobedience movement (CDM).

Furthermore, it urges the military regime to end violations of human rights, respect ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, stop violence and arbitrary arrests and detention. Members states were recommended to support the return to democracy through United Nations, other multilateral and regional bodies.

The military repression against the pro-democracy activists and workers is continuing. Until today, 871 people have been killed, 5,033 have been arrested, charged or sentenced. One of them is Chan Myae Kyaw, a mine worker and member of IndustriALL affiliate MWFM.

The military regime has revoked the passports of the executive committee members of the Confederation of Trade Union in Myanmar (CTUM) and most of them have been forced into hiding. Despite an intensification of repression, the assistant general secretary of CTUM Phyo Sandar was elected as a deputy member of the workers’ group of ILO’s governing body.

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary, says:

“We strongly condemn the repression of the people in Myanmar who are defending democracy. The military regime must resign, restore the elected government and stop the attacks on people and trade unions. I welcome the adoption of the resolution at the 109th ILC; now it is time for ILO member states to exert pressure on Myanmar and to stop recognizing the illegitimate regime.”

Since the coup d’etat in February, IndustriALL has stood in solidarity with Myanmar unions and workers by putting pressure on multinational companies to cut ties with military-linked businesses and mobilizing affiliates to make donations to Myanmar’s strike fund.

During the plenary address, the chairperson of the Workers' Group, Catelene Passchier, requested the ILO’s governing body to follow up the implementation of the resolution at next year’s ILC.