Burma: End Trade and Investment
UNISON is calling for the end
to development of hotels, transport and tourist
attractions to encourage visitors to Burma
because it is directly linked to mass human
This is one of the reasons that
UNISON, a member of the Sanctions Colation,
is campaigning for an end to trade and investment
2 June: Aung San Suu Kyi, has been arrested
again by the 'junta', heralding a sinsiter new
crisis in the country. UNISONScotland has already
called for Suu Kyi to be given honorary UNISON
membership to raise the profile of human rights
abuses in Burma, and UNISON's Edinburgh Branch
is planning an emergency motion to Conference.
UNISON already has a campaign backing scantions
against Burma including tourism.
The situation in Burma
Burma's military regime, the Junta, has received
worldwide condemnation as one of the worst
violators of human rights. The brutal dictatorship
is responsible for forced labour, child labour,
trafficking in prostitution, the imprisonment
of political prisoners and for the world's
largest producer of illegal Opium.
Military spending soaks up at least 40% of
Burma's estimated public sector spending.
Social services in Burma, including the country's
health and educational systems, have suffered
under 36 years of military dictatorship.
Medicine and water supplies are running dry.
Poverty is such in Burma that one in ten babies
die before their first birthday and almost
a half of the population are HIV positive.
The closure of universities has resulted in
a generation losing their right to education.
Burma's military rulers have forced millions
of men, women and children into slave labour.
According to estimates of the UN, there are
50,000 child soldiers in Burma, more than
any other country.
At least 1,800 political prisoners, many
of them supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi, remain
detained, and many of whom are routinely tortured.
Honorary Life Membership of UNISON for Aung
San Suu Kyi
This motion was passed by UNISON City of
Edinburgh Branch and UNISON Scottish Council
and is submitted to National Conference.
Conference congratulates UNISON for its support
for the Burma Campaign UK (BCUK) and in particular
for its ongoing campaign within the labour and
trade union movement to pressurise international
governments to impose investment sanctions on
For nearly 40 years Burma has been controlled
by a military regime which has been condemned
as one of the worst violators of human rights.
The democratically elected President of Burma,
Aung San Suu Kyi, has only recently been released
from house arrest and remains unable to take
up her role as leader of her country. She has
called for support from organisations such as
independent trade unions to highlight the plight
of her people.
Conference calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be
made an honorary life member of UNISON and for
branches to press local authorities and Regional
governments in their geographical areas to award
her with freedom of the city, county or nation.
Such initiatives would raise the profile of
Burmese issues which have too often slipped
down the international agenda.
We call upon UNISON to
1 embark on an awareness raising campaign within
2 advise members on how they can support the
work of BCUK at a local level
3 explore options for directly supporting some
of the innovative international programmes which
seek to provide educational opportunities for
4 explore options in conjunction with the Federation
of Trade Unions Burma for providing internships
for refugees who are seeking experience of collective
bargaining, globalisation, advocacy and representation
5 work within the labour and trade union movement
at a national and international level on solidarity
actions with the Federation of Trade Unions
6 explore options for high profile awareness
raising / fundraising events organised in conjunction
Aung San Suu Kyi anniversary
Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese
democratic leader, is marking the year anniversary
of her release from house arrest with a month-long
tour of her troubled country.
A spokesman for her party, the
National League for Democracy (NLD), said
the main aim of the journey was to meet ethnic
minority groups in Burma's north-eastern province
of Kachlin. But the trip will also serve to
highlight concern that Burma's military rulers
are still stalling over political reform.
Suu Kyi claims that the government
has hampered her efforts to revive her party
and has refused to engage in dialogue. "
When I was released, it was
agreed between the authorities and ourselves
that ... we should go on to a more advanced
stage of our relationship," she said recently.
"But I do not think there has
been any progress. In fact, I think there
has been some kind of regression".
Burma's military regime, the
junta, has received worldwide condemnation
as one of the worst violators of human rights.
The brutal dictatorship is responsible for
forced labour, child labour, trafficking in
prostitution, the imprisonment of political
prisoners and for the world's largest producer
of illegal Opium.
The military regime points to
the recent release of political prisoners
as proof that they are making efforts to reform.
But the UN estimates more than 1,000 political
prisoners remain behind bars and says the
junta is only releasing people it regards
as posing a minimal threat to the regime.
Together with other unions worldwide,
UNISON is calling for an end to trade and
investment in Burma, in the hope that it may
force a return to democracy.
Suu Kyi, the daughter of independence
hero General Aung San, has been put under
house arrest three times. She was awarded
the Nobel peace Prize in 1991