The ITUC-Asia Pacific strongly condemns the objection by the Myanmar military junta to the participation of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) and the nomination of Maung Maung, CTUM President, as the representative to the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML), 6-8 September 2021 hosted by Brunei Darussalam. Jointly with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the ITUC-Asia Pacific expressed serious concern about these incidents in a letter addressed to ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi on 15 September 2021.
The ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific raised the same concern in a letter to the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Secretariat on 14 September 2021.
Three days before the opening of the 14th AFML, the military junta objected to the participation of CTUM and nominated the Myanmar Seafarers’ Federation instead. This act by the military junta flouted the longstanding practice that the workers’ representative for Myanmar lies in the hands of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This year, the Workers’ Group of the ILO Governing Body nominated CTUM as the Myanmar workers’ representative for the AFML.
Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary of the ITUC-Asia Pacific, said, “These incidents violate the ILO Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention (No. 87) that the Myanmar government ratified in 1955. The ASEAN member-states and the ASEAN Secretariat must put necessary measures in place to prevent any similar incidents from happening in the future.”