384,000 Burmese people live in slavery
Nearly 30 million people are living in slavery around the globe, many of them trafficked by gangs for sex work and unskilled labour, according to a global slavery survey released on Thursday.
The survey by anti-slavery charity Walk Free Foundation ranked 162 countries on the number of people living in slavery, the risk of enslavement, and the strength of government responses to combating the illegal activity.It found that 10 countries accounted for 76 percent of the 29.8 million people living in slavery across the world –India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and Bangladesh.
‘Burma’ versus ‘Myanmar’: A Touch of Desperation
Written by Derek Tonkin
In the House of Commons on Tuesday, the minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, had a twinge of conscience when he said that the UN Secretary-General's “Group of Friends on Burma” – as he had called the September 26 gathering in New York in a press release the following day – was "to be fair" actually called the "Group of Friends on Myanmar". Some might feel that misnaming the group of countries supporting Ban Ki-moon on Myanmar was just a tad unfortunate, but Mr. Swire assured the House "we still call it Burma". Conservative MP Fiona Bruce, who had been in the country with House Speaker John Bercow only two months previously, dared to tell the House that the country was now "Myanmar, as we were told we should now consider calling it".
Britain defends ‘important’ military ties with Burma
The British government has defended its plans to offer military training to the Burmese army, despite revelations that the course may cover the “art and science of war” and “border security” management.
Speaking to DVB on Thursday, the UK’s new ambassador to Burma, Andrew Patrick, described the training as an “important” part of Britain’s re-engagement with Burma and insisted that it would not help the combat ability of the armed forces.“It’s important that we have a relationship with the Burmese military, because in the UK we have a military that’s respected, strong and part of the democratic system,” he said. “So it’s useful to show senior members of the military here what that looks like and give them a chance to see whether it’s helpful here in Burma.”
Dry season water worries for Myanmar IDPs in Rakhine State
Access to water just got more difficultYANGON, 18 October 2013 (IRIN) - Water access for tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar's western Rakhine State could worsen after the dry season begins in November, with potentially serious health implications, aid agencies warn.
"The IDP population that relies on water from ponds will [be affected] as [water supplies] progressively dry up. In other locations, hand dug wells or boreholes will also dry up," Olivier Le Guillon, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) cluster coordinator for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Yangon, told IRIN.
Suu Kyi reiterates call for constitutional amendments
Burmese opposition leader Aung Suu Kyi on Saturday said the 2015 elections in her country will not be democratic without constitutional changes.
“The constitution must be amended,” the Nobel laureate said as she met European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels. “If the constitution is not amended, the 2015 election cannot be free or fair.”
Burma will hold parliamentary polls in 2015, with the new parliament then choosing a president, and Suu Kyi has said she wants to run for the presidency.The current Burmese constitution, crafted under the former military regime, blocks Suu Kyi from becoming president as it excludes anyone whose spouses or children are foreign nationals from holding the post.
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