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UN Labor Agency Accuses Burma of Using Forced Labor - 2004-06-06


A U.N. agency is accusing Burma of using forced labor despite a government pledge to end the practice.

The International Labor Organization said in a report released Saturday that Burma's military government does not appear serious about eliminating forced labor. The report says forced labor on large national projects has been stopped, but villagers are now drafted against their will to carry out such assignments as building roads.

The report also said children are still forcibly recruited into the military and that there is evidence troops are using some Burmese citizens as human minesweepers. The government denies the accusations.

The U.S. State Department and the London-based human rights group Amnesty International have made similar allegations about forced labor in Burma, but the government says it has mostly eliminated the practice.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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