The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) has documented 20 separate incidents of forced labour, some involving orders to multiple villages, according to a new report released on Thursday. 50 % of the incidents involved orders from the Burmese Army and the other half were orders from the local authorities, it said. The labour frequently involved serving as porters or construction, planting jatropha, and other forms of manual labour.
In May 2011, the International Labour Organization (ILO) held an official awareness-raising workshop in Hakha, the capital of Chin State, involving more than 160 officials, including administrators, judges, police and Burmese Army personnel. This was the first official workshop of its kind held in Chin State and an important step towards tackling the issue of forced labour in the area.
Poor infrastructure in Chin State makes it very challenging to collect timely information and much of rural Chin State is very remote and difficult to access; it is therefore very possible that portering or other forms of forced labour exacted by the military has taken place which CHRO has been unable to document, it said.