How human rights abuses in Burma are linked to Canada and impact Canadians
Canada has a history of concern for Burma dating back to the Royal Canadian
Air Force delivering humanitarian aid to remote Burmese villages at the end
of the 2nd World War. Since that time, Burma has come under the rule of one
of the world's most brutal military dictatorships. While Canada has imposed
minimal punitive measures against the military regime, the government still
allows Canadian companies to support Burma's dictatorship through hundreds
of millions of dollars worth of investment and trade. The situation of
corporate complicity with human rights abuses in Burma is on par with
Canadian companies profiting from oil in Sudan and diamonds in Sierra Leone.
Recently the International Labour Organization passed a resolution calling
on all its members --- which includes the Canadian government --- to review
their connections with Burma to ensure that they are not perpetuating or
benefiting from forced labour there. The military systematically uses forced
labour throughout the country. The International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions, which has been monitoring the forced labour in Burma for years,
asserts that it is not possible to do business in Burma without supporting
the system of forced labour or severe violations of core labour practices.
Burma's military regime also has a direct impact on Canadians. Ninety per
cent of all heroin arriving into Canada comes from Burma. Burma's military
junta protects, encourages and profits from the heroin industry.