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ILO lifts restrictions on Myanmar

Burmese women factory workers sit outside their factory during a week long protest at Hlaingtharyar Industrial zone, Yangon, Myanmar, on June 2. Workers from Taw Win Myanmar Garment factory are striking over their low wages, labour rights, discrimination

Burmese women factory workers sit outside their factory during a week long protest at Hlaingtharyar Industrial zone, Yangon, Myanmar, on June 2. Workers from Taw Win Myanmar Garment factory are striking over their low wages, labour rights, discrimination

Yangon - The International Labour Organization has liftedsome of its restrictions on Myanmar, paving the way for improvedtrade relations with the West, state media reports said Thursday.



On Wednesday, at the 101st International Labour Conference inGeneva, the UN labour body agreed to lift some of the "restrictions"it imposed in 1999 and 2000, The New Light of Myanmar reported.

Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi was scheduled toaddress the conference in Geneva on Thursday, on the first leg of herEuropean tour.

Among the lifted restrictions were the need for annual reviews ofMyanmar’s labour situation by international labour unions and certainresolutions lodged with the United Nations General Assembly.

The committee also said the ILO will provide technical assistanceto the impoverished country.

The Myanmar government elected in March 2011 has initiated aseries of reforms, including a new labour law that allows theestablishment of labour unions and guarantees the right to strike.

The new law is seen as liberal by South-East Asian standards,according to ILO sources.

Myanmar officials said the ILO move could improve the country’strade prospects.

"Thanks to the lifting, removing and suspending of restrictions,the country may get special benefits in trading with the EU," theLabour Ministry said in a statement.

Myanmar has been subject to economic sanctions for the past twodecades to penalize the former ruling junta for its poor human rightsrecord, widespread use of forced labour and repression of democracy.

Thanks to recent reforms and political developments, such asallowing Aung San Suu Kyi to be elected to Parliament in Aprilby-elections, the EU and the United States have suspended many oftheir sanctions on the former pariah state.


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