Forced labour complaint mechanism

© Marcel Crozet / ILO

Complaints mechanism for the elimination of forced labour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Government of the Union of Myanmar have agreed to a Supplementary Understanding (SU) which gives Myanmar Resident Citizens the right to lodge complaints alleging the use of forced labour. This complaints mechanism is designed to allow genuine victims of forced labour, with the assistance of the ILO Liaison Officer, an opportunity to seek redress and/or remedies from the government authorities in full confidence that no retaliatory action will be taken against them.

What is forced labour?

Forced labour is any work that a person is required to do against their will, under threat of any form of penalty if they do not comply or cooperate. It includes any work required of you by any person whether from the Civil Administration Authorities, the Military or the Private Sector. Forced labour also includes forced recruitment and/or underage recruitment into the armed forces. Myanmar Law prohibits the use of forced labour and prohibits the recruitment into the military of any child under the age of 18 years.

How do you make a complaint?

There are numbers of ways you can make a complaint. If the circumstances are appropriate you should initially complain through your Local Government Representative at village, township or district level or make enquiry at the local recruiting centre. However if the circumstances are inappropriate for that approach, for example if one or all of these persons are the alleged perpetrators or if you feel unhappy at the response you receive, you should contact the ILO Liaison Officer to make your complaint.
You can contact the Liaison Officer by telephone 01- 566 538, 566 539, 578 925, 579956 fax 01- 566 582, email, post or by visiting his office. If you wish you can arrange for a trusted friend or acquaintance to deliver your written complaint by hand to the Liaison Officer. Contact Information below.

Is it safe for me to make a complaint?

Whilst there is risk in most things we do, the SU guarantees protection from harassment, prosecution or any other form of reprisal or retaliation to complainants, victims and other persons associated with the submission of a complaint. The Liaison Officer has free and confidential access to the victims, the complainant(s), his/her representative(s) or any other relevant person(s) to verify that no such retaliatory action has been taken against them.

Who can make a complaint?

•Victims of forced labour, or
•Relative(s) of those victims, or
•Any other relevant persons
under the sole condition that the complainant is a bona fide resident of Myanmar.

Is my complaint confidential?

At the time of lodging a complaint you must provide your identification detail. However at your request the Liaison Officer can keep your identity confidential. Of course for a successful investigation to be undertaken the identity of the victim(s) and if available that of the perpetrator(s) should be able to be disclosed.
Any statements made and relevant supporting documents (if any) shall be examined objectively by the Liaison Officer and any concerns on confidentiality will be cleared with the complainant before the complaint is lodged.

How does the mechanism work?

On receiving a complaint the Liaison Officer will undertake an objective assessment of the facts as submitted. If it is necessary to clarify any detail before any objective assessment can be completed the Liaison Officer will arrange a meeting with the Complainant or If appropriate undertake an assessment mission to the location of the alleged offence.
Upon reviewing the allegation the Liaison Officer will submit the facts together with his opinion and/or suggestion to the Government Ministerial Working Group for the elimination of forced labour. On receipt of a complaint the Working Group will order an enquiry to take place with that enquiry team being responsible for verifying the facts and recommending appropriate action to achieve justice for the victim and punishment for the perpetrator.
The Liaison Officer maintains close contact with the Government at all steps of the process so as to be satisfied that enquiry tactics are appropriate and that resultant decisions are commensurate with the crime.

If my complaint is upheld what outcome can I expect?

The objective of the mechanism is the elimination of the use of forced labour and child soldiers. It is believed that the existence and operation of this complaints mechanism will work to that end. In addition if your complaint is genuine and as the result of the enquiry proven, you can expect some form of justice be that compensation, an apology, the knowledge that it will not happen again or satisfaction that the perpetrator has been appropriately punished for his/her actions.

Who to contact to make a complaint?

In the first instance and if it is in your opinion appropriate for you to do so please lodge your complaint with the appropriate village, township or district authorities. In the case of a forced and/or underage military recruitment you should first raise your concerns at the nearest military recruitment centre, basic training school or military camp.

If the above recommended step is not, in your opinion, appropriate to your complaint you may lodge your complaint direct to:

The Liaison Officer
International Labour Organization
No.1 ( A ) , Kanbae ( Thitsar ) Road,Yankin Township,
Yangon, Myanmar.
Telephone 01 233 6538 , 233 6539 , 578925 , 579 956
Fax: 01 233 6582