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  Issue No 83 Official Organ of LaborNet 09 February 2001  

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International

Burma: The Struggle Continues


As the internatinal community moves to bring Burma to account, APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad is working on the ground.

 
 

While the ILO has recently agreed to impose sanctions against Burma over the country's use of forced labour, and Burma activists around the world continue campaigns in support of the pro-democracy movement, on the ground at the Thai-Burma border those who have fled Burma's repressive military regime continue the struggle to address their basic health care needs.

Through training supported by Australian unions and Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA, 24 medic trainees are gaining medical skills to address the needs of displaced people living in the border regions of Burma who otherwise have little access to medical support services.

The training is conducted by the All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF), a student activist organisation formed in 1988 and a key member of the democracy movement for 13 years. These students have lived in border camps with makeshift buildings, lacking medical professionals and medical supplies, and experiencing a shortage of food and insufficiency of clothing to combat the cold seasons. Since 1988 the student leaders have been taking care of members and families in various camps through health, education and supplies departments.

ABSDF is currently operating one hospital and four clinics, run by a few senior medics and their assistants. Although they have some medical set up, there are insufficient skilled medics to extend the health care and education programs in areas where there are many ethnic people with little education and awareness of health care; or to deal with health problems as a result of poverty and the impact of the world's longest running civil war.

Training in the Wei Gyi student camp near Mae Sariang - Mae Hong Son province (Thailand) began in September 2000. The curriculum covers anatomy and physiology; nursing care; obstetrics and gynaecology; microbiology; public health; surgery; curative medicine and child care. These photographs show trainees in a practical session and trainees studying by candlelight in a classroom constructed as part of the project.

Australian trade unionists have been supporting humanitarian and training projects with migrant workers and refugees from Burma on the Thai-Burma border through Union Aid Abroad since 1996. This project is supported by the ANF - Victorian Branch and by many individual unionists. Contact Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA for further information and to find out how you can support this work.


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In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Dispatch from Davos
ACTU President Shahran Burrow reports back on the trade union movement’s presence at last week’s meeting of the heavyweights of global capital.
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*  Unions: After the Gold Rush
Recent mass sackings at high-profile e-businesses are beginning to expose the flimsiness of the ‘jobs for all’ predictions made on behalf of the sector.
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*  Economics: The Other Davos
While the world’s business leaders met in Davos, a very different gathering was taking place in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Pat Ranald was there.
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*  Politics: While We Were Snoozing
As we lay in our banana chair through summer the political world kept turning with a new man in the White House. Here’s what we missed while we were off the air.
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*  History: Federation Day, 1901
One hundred years after Australia became a nation, Ralph Sawyer relives the original Federation Day through the eyes of Billy Hughes.
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*  International: Burma: The Struggle Continues
As the internatinal community moves to bring Burma to account, APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad is working on the ground.
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*  Review: Inside the Journopolis
In his new book, Rob Johnson brings the infamous Cash for Comment Affair to life.
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*  Satire: Families Demand Longer Work Hours
A new report confirms the long held suspicion that employees who reduce their workload to spend more time with their spouse and children just end up annoying their families even more.
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News
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»  Steelworkers Draw The Line
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»  Sartor Thanks Workers for Games by Outsourcing Jobs
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»  Outworkers Still Waiting for Action of Sweatshops
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»  Workers Casualties in Wentworth Fire Sale
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»  Fantastic Win for Furniture Workers
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»  Billions Spent on Mine Takeovers
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»  No Guarantees on Orange Jobs
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»  M5 Project- Worker Pays the Price
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»  Forum: Organising Youth in a Hostile Workplace
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»  Western Sahara Marks 25 Years of Waiting
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»  Action as Australia Considers WTO Ties
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Cavalier Attitude to Cricketers
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»  Unions and the WEF: How should unions bridge the divide?
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»  Botsman's Ivory Tower
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»  Volunteering a Modest Proposal
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»  Well Done, Workers Online
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