Third anniversary of Myanmar coup: Calls for the restoration of democracy continue

Press Statement
Feb 2024
United Nations
Myanmar, Democracy

Three years since the military junta seized political power in Myanmar, the international trade union movement continues to stand in solidarity with the people in Myanmar and campaign for the restoration of their democracy.

ITUC-Asia Pacific, along with other global unions, have been putting pressure on various institutions, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other United Nations agencies, among others, and demanding for the recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) and rejection of the military junta’s claims for legitimacy.

One of the positive developments since the military coup in Myanmar is the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry by the ILO Governing Body in March 2022 in relation to Myanmar’s non-observance of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) and the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29).

ITUC-Asia Pacific fully supports the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, including the following:

  • immediate cessation of all forms of violence, torture and other inhumane treatment against trade union leaders and members and other persons in relation to the exercise of legitimate workers’ or employers’ activities;
  • unconditional release of all trade unionists arrested, sentenced and detained in relation to the exercise of their civil liberties and legitimate trade union activities, including with regard to critical expressions of opinion and participation in peaceful demonstrations;
  • withdrawal of all criminal charges pending against trade unionists and others peacefully exercising their civil liberties in relation to legitimate trade union activities;
  • immediate cessation of all forms of intimidation, threats, stigmatization, harassment and surveillance of trade unionists and their families, including attacks against and destruction of trade union premises and property; and
  • revocation of the withdrawal of citizenship and return travel documents to the trade union leaders and members concerned.

Shoya Yoshida, ITUC-Asia Pacific General Secretary, said:

“We remain committed to strengthening trade union solidarity and coordination to support the trade union movement in Myanmar in their fight for restoring their democracy and fundamental freedoms. This commitment has been reaffirmed in the resolution adopted by the 5th Regional Conference of the ITUC-Asia Pacific, urging our affiliates to persuade their respective governments to stand up for the people of Myanmar and their struggle for democracy.”

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