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6 Feb 2018

Andy Hall, migrant worker rights activist & former international affairs advisor to the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN)

Statement by Andy Hall on resumption of trial against 14 workers

‘Tonight I express publicly how deeply disappointed and regretful I feel that the Thammakaset and Betagro chicken farm case controversy has been ongoing now for almost 2 years and, as the 14 former Thammakaset migrant workers from Myanmar stand a criminal trial tomorrow morning in solidarity and without any compensation yet provided to them for alleged abuses inflicted upon them, the end of the controversy...far out of sight.  That this criminal trial will indeed start tomorrow is a deeply disturbing situation that in no way benefits anyone... and indeed cannot but reflect poorly on Thailand and its major food processing export industry actors...in times of rapid and sometimes positive change in migrant worker conditions in Thailand. This case controversy continues to cast...a dark shadow over the positive reforms in migration management that have been enacted in Thailand in recent years by both the government and industry actors... I... thank tonight the President of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand for his attempts to informally negotiate a settlement to this dispute, on my request, that could have avoided tomorrow’s trial, despite this negotiation process...ultimately proving unsuccessful so far...This case is one that remains deeply felt in my heart, because of my previous involvement with the 14 workers, and despite the fact that I couldn’t for many reasons attend the trial tomorrow in Thailand...’

Part of the following timelines

Thammakaset lawsuits against former workers (re defamation on labour conditions, Thailand)

Betagro & Thammakaset lawsuits (re labour exploitation in Thailand)