Joint Statement: Equitable Cambodia, Inclusive Development International & LICADHO
17 November 2020
As the 9th United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights convenes in Geneva, Equitable Cambodia, Inclusive Development International and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) renew our long-standing call for redress for the Cambodian communities who were forcibly displaced by the Thai sugar company, Mitr Phol.
Between 2008 and 2009, Mitr Phol colluded with Cambodian Armed Forces to raze people’s homes, forcibly seize their land and loot their harvested rice crops to make way for a sugarcane plantation in Cambodia’s Oddar Meanchey province.
To this day, more than ten years after losing their land and livelihoods, the affected communities have yet to receive any remedy and Mitr Phol has continually refused to be accountable for its actions. The affected communities are currently seeking justice from Mitr Phol in the Thai courts. In July of this year, their legal action was granted class status[...]
While it is commendable that the Thai courts have admitted the case and granted class status, the communities should not have to endure a protracted litigation process in a foreign court in order to secure their right to an effective remedy.
Mitr Phol’s consistent failure to provide a remedy to the affected communities has also been enabled by the failure of its major corporate customers to abide by their own human rights responsibilities. Mitr Phol sells sugar to some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Coca Cola, Nestle, and Mars Wrigley. [...]