Teenage Boys Tell of Forced Labor Horror
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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Teenage Boys Tell of Forced Labor Horror

By SIMON ROUGHNEEN/ THE IRRAWADDY Friday, February 24, 2012

Four teenage boys who say they were forced to work as porters and human shields for the Burmese army. (Photo: Simon Roughneen)
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He and Min Tin said that they saw five soldiers killed, in total, during their time with the army, but estimate that of the 300 soldiers they were forced to march with, some 10 percent were killed in fighting against the KIA, based on accounts given by other soldiers. “They [the soldiers] weren't all bad,” said Soe Htaik. “I made friends with some of them, said Min Tin.

 Names have been changed to protect the identities of the four interviewees. Other details, such as their hometowns, have been omitted for the same reason.

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MattW Wrote:
When travelling by taxi between Heho & Inle Lake last year, there was quite a bit of roadwork under way. It looked like rather tough work for anyone, let alone kids and ladies. I asked the driver what do they get paid? His English wasn't the best and he just pointed at some armed men in green standing around watching. Getting to my question - are those people doing the roadworks forced labour as well, and the armed men are stop them leaving? Or are the armed guys there for a different reason?

Rockderk Wrote:
I've been reading and hearing reports of forced child labor and the use of human shields by SLORC and its various reincarnations for over a decade. That it's still happening is no surprise. Why should anyone expect the military forces in Myanmar to follow any conventional code of conduct? As long as the military holds the grand veto 'get out of jail free' card under the constitution they force fed the people, they can do as they please. And when you look at the models they have to emulate among their ASEAN colleagues or their masters in China...well, you can only really conclude that the elites in the military are well placed to control all prime land and business in a frenzy of corrupt deals going on even as I write this.

Ohn Wrote:
This is neither new nor unexpected. Irrawaddy keeping a tab on important things taking time out from praising Thein Sein however is commendable.

The word "Tatmadaw" heavily promoted by the military in the last 20 years and is used by themselves and a lot of people some with reverence.

But it is like the word "Myanmar". An awkward word not used in daily speech among the Burmese populace who usually refer the military as "Sit-tut" and soldiers as "Sit-ther".

Burmese economy is in doldrums making people crave for foreign input of all sorts with unknown consequences. But the real problem is the immense effort to arm and kill each other taking away the land and labour from production.

But instead of stopping that and use time and labour efficiently, next plan seems to be to beg in more foreign money and directives increasing more coercions, more land confiscations and more killing.

The future is not so bright as people would be desperate to believe especially for the likes of the four boys.

Chella Wrote:
SHAME ON BURMA!!! Criminal regime. Why does the UN stay silent on Burma? Incredible.

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