On 10 February, the military junta of Myanmar announced that they will begin mandatory military conscription. We, ETUC and industriAll European Trade Union, completely oppose this shocking announcement and on behalf of workers and trade unions in Myanmar and their international trade union representation, we call on the EU Member States to agree on urgent EU action as soon as possible. 

This announcement further endangers the lives of workers and citizens in Myanmar who have already been living under the military junta’s reign of terror for over three years. Reports from the field are alarming. Already young workers living in hostels near the industrial zones, or in family houses in the big cities and in villages are in danger of being kidnapped or arrested by the military and the militias in all villages and towns. In total more than 13 million young people are at risk of being taken away by the SAC local authorities to be used as porters or in the frontline of the fighting against the democratic forces fighting for democracy and human rights.

With reports that the junta will use employee data to identify targeted individuals, men aged 18 – 35 years and women aged 18-27 years, urgent action is needed to stop employees’ data being used and moreover for the whole process to be stopped and for democracy to be restored to Myanmar.
This new announcement is further proof that the international response to date has been far from sufficient and that the military junta will continue its abuse of workers and citizens without fear of real repercussions. This desperate situation needs to end and we call on the EU to stop the military junta’s abuse of workers and citizens which amounts to forced labour.

Read the joint letter here