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Glossary of Terms

All Burma Workers' Union: An underground union organisation in Burma which endures constant surveillance by the police and military intelligence and in some cases imprisonment of its members.

Amnesty International: Amnesty International is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote internationally recognised human rights and has more than a million members and supporters in over 140 countries and territories.

Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN): Its 10 members include, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and Burma/Myanmar

Australian Council Of Trade Unions (ACTU): The organisation representing unions in Australia on behalf of its 65 member unions on issues of interest to Australian workers.

British American Tobacco (BAT): British American Tobacco is the world's most international tobacco group, with brands sold in 180 markets around the world.

Burmese Way to Socialism: After the army coup in 1962, the military-dominated Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) adopted the "Burmese Way to Socialism"; which imposed central planning and rejected foreign capital, as the official state ideology for a quarter century. During this period Burma became isolated, xenophobic, and increasingly impoverished.

Child Labour: Children under fifteen years of age are made to do work that is physically or mentally harmful, and interrupts their education and social development.

Civil War: A war between opposing groups of citizens in the same country.

Civilian: A citizen not part of the state through participation in the military or police force.

Collective Bargaining: Discussion between an employer and union representatives as a group over wages, hours and working conditions.

Colonialism: Control by a country over a colony it has claimed ownership of.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of Burmese General Aung San, a popular hero for helping to establish national independence (1948). Suu Kyi was assassinated in July of 1947, and two year-old Suu Kyi left Burma and lived and studied in India and the United Kingdom. In 1988 she returned to Burma at a time of political upheaval and ended up leading the National League for Democracy (NLD) in opposition to the ruling military regime. She was placed under house arrest in 1989, but the NLD still convincingly won popular elections in 1990. In 1991 she won the Nobel Prize for peace.

Democracy: Government of the people by the people, usually through their elected represetatives

Dictatorship: Control of a country by one person or group with absolute power.

Epidemic: A sudden outbreak of disease spreading widely and affecting many people at the same time.

European Union (EU): The European Union (EU) founded 1 November 1993, is a union of fifteen independent states based on the European Communities and founded to enhance political, economic and social co-operation. Formerly known as European Community (EC) or European Economic Community (EEC). New members since 1st January, 1995 are Austria, Finland, Sweden. In 2003 the EU will expand to 26 member states.

Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB): The FTUB is a trade union organisation that was organised in 1991 by workers exiled from Burma. It aims to uphold democracy and human rights in Burma, to establish free trade unions, and to achieve equal distribution of wealth by emphasising equal opportunity.

Forced Labour: Work under threat of penalty and for which the person has not offered her/himself voluntarily.

Forced Relocation: To move from one's residence to a new location by military force.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Value of all goods and services produced in a country in one year.

Gross National Product (GNP): Value of all goods and services produced in a country in one year, plus income earned by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners in the country.

HIV/AIDS: A deadly disease, without a cure, of the human immune system due to infection by a virus.

Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Watch is the largest human rights organisation based in the United States. Human Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world. Human Rights Watch then publishes those findings in dozens of books and reports every year, generating extensive coverage in local and international media. This publicity helps to embarrass abusive governments in the eyes of their citizens and the world. Human Rights Watch then meets with government officials to urge changes in policy and practice - at the United Nations, the European Union, in Washington and in capitals around the world.

Infant Mortality Rate: Number of infant deaths under one year old in one year per 1,000 live births.

Insein Prison: (pronounced Insane) is the main prison in Rangoon used for criminals and political detainees. Many political detainees are held here temporarily before being moved to more remote prisons in the countryside.

Internally Displaced Person: People who are displaced within their own country and to whom the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) extends protection or assistance, or both, generally pursuant to a special request by a competent organ of the United Nations.

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU): The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), was set up in 1949 and has 231 affiliated organisations in 150 countries and territories on all five continents, with a membership of 158 million. The ICFTU organises and directs campaigns on issues such as:
the respect and defence of trade union and workers' rights,
the eradication of forced and child labour,
the promotion of equal rights for working women,
the environment,
education programmes for trade unionists all over the world,
encouraging the organisation of young workers,
sends missions to investigate the trade union situation in many countries.

International Labour Organization (ILO): A specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) developing international standards of labour rights covering such areas as working conditions, equal opportunity, social security, forced labour, freedom of association and minimum age restrictions.

Intravenous Drug: A substance injected in a person's vein to change the state of the body and mind.

Junta: A group of military officers controlling a country especially after a revolution.

Kawthoolei Education Workers Union (KEWU): The Kawthoolei Education Workers Union is one of 3 affiliated unions with the Federation of Trade Unions Kawthoolei (Karen State). The Federation of Trade Unions Kawthoolei (FTUK) was founded on October 7 1998 at the Karen Labor Conference held in the liberated area of Kawthoolei in Burma. The other two affiliates are the Kawthoolei Health Workers Union and the Kawthoolei Agricultural Workers Union.

Land Confiscation/Extortion: To seize land by the use of force, threats or authority.

Least Developed Country Status: A Least Developed Country Status is determined by criteria set down by the United Nations using economic and social indicators.

Legislation: A law including acts of parliament and other general legal rules.

Literacy Rates: The amount of people in a country with the ability to read and write at a specified age.

Media Censorship: To examine media sources and prevent publication of information thought to be unacceptable.

Military Coup: A sudden overthrowing and seizure of a government by the military.

Parliament: The governing body of elected representatives making law.

Porter: A person who carries supplies for the military.

Profit: Financial gain remaining to an employer or company after all expenses are subtracted from the amount received.

Refugee: A person who flees for safety or refuge, especially to a foreign country.

Ryder, Guy: ICFTU General Secretary.

Sanction: A measure taken by one or more states towards another calculated to force it to comply with legal obligations.

State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC): The name adopted by the group of generals that seized power in Burma in 1988.

State Peace and Development Council (SPDC): On November 15, 1997, after consultation with a Washington-based public-relations firm, the SLORC was officially dissolved and renamed the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), a move apparently designed to win international legitimacy. The council consists of 19 officers, many of whom are regional commanders, rather than the generals that had dominated the SLORC.

Stereotype: An idea that many people have about a group of people that may often be untrue or only partly true.

Somavia, Juan: Director-General of the ILO.

TOTALFINA-ELF: A French oil company, which knowingly uses forced labour for building roads and other work connected to its Yadana pipeline operation.

Trade Union: An organisation of workers formed to protect the rights and advance the interests of its members concerning wages, benefits and working conditions.

Undocumented Immigrant: A person who comes to a country for residence without the required documentation.

Union Organiser: A union employee who organises workers and helps union members with collective action in the workplace.

United Nations: The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945. The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations in attaining these ends.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): UNESCO was founded in November 1945 with the aim to build peace in the world through knowledge, social progress, exchange and mutual understanding among peoples.

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF was created in December 1946 by the United Nations to provide food, clothing and health care to European children facing famine and disease in the aftermath of the Second World War. Their mandate is to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

World Health Organization (WHO): WHO is the United Nations specialised agency for health, established on 7 April 1948. WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

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