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14 Okt 2020

Forum Asia, BHRRC & Others

Cambodia & Thailand: Thai Ministry of Justice award a company for human rights compliance; while facing trial of forced displacement

" Thailand: Government Gives Human Rights Award to Abusive Company", 13 October 2020

The recent Thai Ministry of Justice’s decision to grant a human rights award to a company currently facing trial for human rights abuses casts serious concerns on the government’s commitment to upholding human rights especially in the in the context human rights and business, said the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Article 19, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, EarthRights International, Extraterritorial Obligations-Watch and Human Rights Watch...

…, Thai multinational company Mitr Phol Co. Ltd (Mitr Phol), …, received Thailand’s Human Rights Award 2020. According to the Ministry of Justice, the award commends those who ‘demonstrate outstanding compliance with human rights principles’.

The decision to confer this award to Mitr Phol has failed to take into consideration the many evidence-based allegations of human rights abuses in Cambodia against Mitr Phol – including a class action lawsuit against the company filed by Cambodian plaintiffs representing more than 700 farming families allegedly disposed of their land by Mitr Phol and its partners.

The lawsuit alleges that Mitr Phol was complicit in the forced displacement of Cambodian families …

To date, Mitr Phol has not genuinely engaged in any attempts to reach a resolution with, nor has provided adequate compensation to the Cambodian families…

… Authorities should place attention on the current trial, as this would strongly determine Thailand’s commitment to its own National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, especially its provisions on protection and remedy for communities and defenders vis-à-vis the company’s extra-territorial obligations,’ said the groups.