Monday, 25 May 2020

Akyab, Burma: In Arakan use of forced labor was largely confined to the rural areas. But as of October people even in urban areas are being enlisted as forced labor by the Burmese Army for the construction of a road in Akyab, the capital of Arakan State.


The army has earmarked stretches of the road for the people to build in Kamanchi Para of Akyab since October 14, a trader of the village said.


The army is collecting Kyat 30,000 from each family which cannot provide forced labour for the road construction.


Rabi Alam (45), son of Khadir Hussain of Kamanchi Para, Akyab refused to provide forced labour and the army asked him to pay Kyat 30,000 instead. But, he refused to comply with the order. He was arrested and detained in the army camp for three days.


However, he was released after three days.


Earlier, in the city there was no forced labor for road construction or building army camps. This was a rural phenomenon. But, this time, the army authorities have begun to introduce forced labour in the capital of Araka State. It has surprised elders.


Even though, there is pressure from the international community and the International Labor Organization (ILO) against the use of forced labor, the ruling junta continues to use forced labor for many purposes. However, in what is a gross distortion of the truth, the junta has declared that there is no forced labor across the country.