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7 Jul 2019

Pravit Rojanaphruk, Khaosod English

Thailand: Groups fear that Thai NAP won't impose binding obligations for companies

"National Action Plan for Human Rights and Businesses won't be mandatory," 29 June 2019

Thailand is working on a National Action Plan to encourage the private sector to respect human rights  – but critics fear it won’t be effective if it’s not legally binding. 

Businesses will have no legal obligation to implement the plan, which is akin to a set of voluntary good practice guidelines, warned Emilie Pradichit, the director of the Manushya Foundation...

Another limiting factor on the NAP’s potential impact is that the Justice Minister will adopt it on a ministerial level, meaning the guidelines will not apply to other ministries and departments. 

Caretaker human rights commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit hopes the NAP will eventually be adopted at the cabinet level, but said it is better to have guidelines than nothing. 

Several activists and community leaders aired specific grievances about the private sector’s treatment of human rights issues...

Katima Leeja, an ethnic Lisu and member of the Indigenous Women Network of Thailand similarly warned that several land rights activists face legal threats as they try to defend against business encroachment.

...Sirisak Chaited, an activist for sex workers’ rights, said the action plan should do away with the Protection and Prevention of Prostitution Act.