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30 Jul 2020


Cambodia: Appeal Court set to rule on Southeast Asia’s first transboundary class action into human rights abuses

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On Friday, 31 July 2020, the Bangkok South Civil Court will deliver a landmark decision on an appeal for class action status in the case of Hoy Mai & Others vs. Mitr Phol Co. Ltd. The transboundary class action lawsuit is a first of its kind in the Asian region and pits Cambodian farmers against Thai multinational Mitr Phol.

…In 2008 and through 2009, plaintiffs Hoy Mai and Smen Tit were violently forced off their land in Cambodia to make way for a sugar plantation operated by Asia’s largest sugar producer, Mitr Phol…a class action is the only opportunity to access justice for human rights abuses and for the group of over 700 indigent Cambodian farming families that they represent.

For Thailand and the larger Southeast Asian region, a class action lawsuit and its usage in transboundary cases to protect some of the region’s most vulnerable people is a novel test. It would determine Thailand’s commitment to its National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, which specifically provides access to justice in Thailand, including the right to remedy and protection related to transboundary operations.