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7 Feb 2018

Human Rights Watch (USA)

Thailand: Burmese Workers on Trial for Reporting Abuses

The Thai government should publicly oppose in court the criminal defamation charges against 14 Burmese migrant workers for filing a complaint against their employer with Thailand’s human rights commission, Human Rights Watch said...Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, [said]: “The government should publicly oppose the employer’s charges and protect the ability of government agencies to act on complaints of wrongdoing.”... In July 2016, the 14 workers submitted their complaint to the National Human Rights Commission... accusing Thammakaset Co. Ltd. – a chicken farm...– of subjecting them to grueling work conditions. In August 2016, Labor Ministry...ordered Thammakaset to pay the 14 workers compensation of...US$48,600. However, the workers have yet to receive any compensation as the company has appealed the order... Thammakaset filed a criminal defamation complaint in October 2016 against the 14 workers, together with a labor activist from the Migrant Worker Rights Network. “The Ministry of Labor determined the company violated the law and ordered it to pay the workers”... “Shockingly, the company not only refused to pay but is now trying to level criminal charges against their workers for highlighting their plight.”... “The government should not sit still while Thammakaset uses the courts to undermine corporate accountability for labor rights abuses,” Adams said.