Union to act on human rights issue

Series Title
Series Details 05/12/96, Volume 2, Number 45
Publication Date 05/12/1996
Content Type

Date: 05/12/1996

By Elizabeth Wise

BURMA is on the verge of becoming the first country to lose trading privileges with the Union.

Rangoon's record of forced labour and its refusal to heed European warnings have driven the European Commission to react. It now looks set to recommend to EU governments that they take the country off the Union's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), which lowers import tariffs for products from a privileged group of developing countries.

Officials at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), which initiated the case last year by lodging a complaint with the Commission about Burmese working conditions, hope the punishment will be swift and sure.

“We want the Commission to recommend a total withdrawal of GSP benefits from Burma until human rights and workers' rights change significantly,” said the ICFTU's Janek Kuczkiewicz.

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