Report on Forced Labor (May 2002)
In Burma, the use of prisoners’ labor began in June 1962, when prisoners were forced to work at the Pale-Gangaw road construction project. Since then, due to the fact that state development projects are usually carried out solely by manual labor, prison labor camps were set up and the state began employing prison labor extensively. In addition, in 1962 when the government launched it’s offensive against insurgent ethnic groups, prisoners as well as civilians began to be used as military porters. Since the 1962 military coup, Burma has been ruled by dictators who have oppressed the people and repeatedly violated their fundamental rights and freedoms. Prisoners have suffered greatly under the military regime, from arbitrary arrest, detention and incarceration, to brutal torture and appalling prison conditions By definition, a prisoner is a person judged by the court to have committed an offence. In Burma, there are regulations that stipulate that prisoners can be used for labor, however there are no laws allowing for the beating, torture, ill treatment or excessive periods of backbreaking labor that prisoners are subject to. Human rights groups have documented that prisoners in Burma are forced to labor in prisons, prison labor camps, and at the battlefront under inhuman conditions, and with cruel torture. The following report highlights the situation of these prisoners.
Full paper here: Report on Forced Labor (May 2002)