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  4. March 2021 - Volume 103
  5. Cycle of Abuse

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FOCUS March 2021 Volume 103

Cycle of Abuse


Labor intensive economic activities such as logging create opportunities for labor exploitation.  In informal logging activities, where government oversight is weak, labor exploitation is bound to exist as shown in a study in Burma/Myanmar. The workers suffer from dangerous working conditions. Children are also hired and deployed to undertake dangerous tasks in the logging activities. Those injured or killed fail to be compensated.

The study notes the cyclic nature of the problem. In some areas in Burma/Myanmar, people impoverished by the loss of the forests they previously relied on for their livelihood had no choice but to get hired as workers in informal logging activities. This work sustains the deforestation problem that ironically contributed to their poverty.

Breaking the cycle of abuse requires a multitude of measures from stopping deforestation in order to protect the environment to giving people the chance to rebuild their livelihood in or near the forest to ensuring compliance by companies and their wood suppliers of the requirements of laws on labor, human rights and the environment.