Burmese villagers 'forced to work on Total pipeline'

Author: Rajeshree Sisodia and Andrew Buncombe, Independent [UK], Published on: 14 August 2009

Total is at the centre of allegations that Burmese villagers are being used as forced labour to help support a huge gas pipeline...Testimony from villagers and former soldiers gathered by human rights workers suggests that Burmese soldiers, who provide security for the Yadana pipeline on behalf of Total, are forcing thousands of people to work...Total insists that forced labour is not used around the pipeline...The evidence collected by EarthRights International (ERI) [is] due to be published next month...[A] spokeswoman for Total said: "We are reviewing [ERI's allegations] and intend to adjust our website in the coming weeks so that it can publicly address the issues, whenever possible. It should also be noted that people in the villages around the pipeline are grateful for the fact that systematic recourse to forced labour in the area where Total operates has stopped..."

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Related companies: Total