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Article

2 Aug 2020

Author:
CCHR & others

Cambodia: NGOs & community representatives applaud Thai Appeal Court following its decision to recognise Class Action in legal battle over force eviction

"Thai Appeal Court decision paves the way for Asia’s first transboundary class action on human rights abuses", 31 July 2020

…, Cambodian plaintiffs representing more than 700 farming families won a landmark appeal allowing them to move forward with their class action against Asia’s largest sugar producer, Mitr Phol. 

The transboundary class action Hoy Mai & Others vs. Mitr Phol Co. Ltd. is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.  It was filed under Thai laws permitting a class action to be brought by foreign plaintiffs for abuses committed by a Thai company overseas…

The decision recognizing class status, which was delivered today by the Bangkok South Civil Court, allows the families to bring the case as a group, ensuring access to justice and preventing the laborious and costly process of bringing hundreds of individual lawsuits.

“Today’s win marks a huge step forward for the plaintiffs and all the people affected by the evictions. The voices of those who have been harmed can now be heard.  The court’s decision shows that access to justice is possible, and that their decade-long fight has not been for nothing,” said Eang Vuthy, Executive director of Equitable Cambodia…

It is also a key test of corporate accountability. Mitr Phol is the biggest sugar supplier in the region and has counted some of the world’s largest consumer brands, including Nestle, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mars Wrigley and Corbion, as past and current customers...

“As a representative of the people in Oddar Meanchey province, I am very happy with this result, I hope to get justice in the future. We will all continue to fight until the end." said Hoy Mai following the decision ...

Part of the following timelines

Cambodian farmers file lawsuit in Thailand against sugar producer Mitr Phol over alleged land grabbing

Thailand: Court allows class action to proceed against Thai sugar firm Mitr Pohl brought by 700 Cambodian families alleging land grabbing