Follow-up to the resolution concerning remaining measures on the subject of Myanmar adopted by the Conference at its 102nd Session – Review of the situation in Myanmar on issues relating to ILO activities, including forced labour, freedom of association, and the impact of foreign investment on decent working conditions

Statement by the Government of Norway

Thank you, Chair. 

1. Let me start by thanking the Office for a very informative update on the ILO’s activities in Myanmar.

2. Norway is strongly committed to and an active supporter of the democratic and economic reform process underway in Myanmar. Norway enjoys close contact and cooperation with the ILO Office in the country, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the important support the ILO has given and continues to give to the reform process. 

3. The ILO established its presence in Myanmar at an early stage, and the ILO Office possesses excellent knowledge of the complex context they, and we, are working within. The constructive approach of the Office has notably enabled them to work with the various ethnic groups in the ceasefire areas. 

4. Norway welcomes the steady progress on elimination of forced labour in Myanmar, the continued commitment of the Government to this objective and the important role played by the ILO Office. At the same time, we note that several challenges remain. We are concerned that despite the hard work of the Office, the Government has not taken sufficient advantage of this support. We need to see more measureable results and  encourage the Government to take the necessary measures to address remaining concerns.

5. Norway attaches great importance to social dialogue and notes with appreciation the progress made with regard to the reintroduction of a system of industrial relations in Myanmar since the introduction of the Labour Organization Law (2012). 

6. We support the review of existing labour law which is underway. We are hopeful that the ILO’s efforts in collaboration with the Government and other donor countries will result in a comprehensive and coherent labour code. We consider this to be of particular importance in a context of very considerable foreign investment and rapid economic growth.

7. Finally, Norway welcomes the development of a Decent Work Country Programme for Myanmar. We encourage the Government and the ILO to continue to develop their very fruitful partnership, and we look forward to continued cooperation.

8. To conclude, Norway supports the draft decision, and we look forward to the reports to be presented at the 325th Session of the Governing Body (November 2015).

Thank you, Chair.