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27 Aug 2018

Various CSOs

Open Letter: Concerns regarding the Draft National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights

To: The Director General of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, Ministry of Justice, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) and United Nations Office of the High Commission on Human Rights (UNOCHCHR)

Civil society had high hopes for the visit to Thailand by members of the UN Working Group (UNWG) on business and human rights...We welcomed this first official visit to "examine efforts to prevent, mitigate and remedy adverse human rights impacts of business operations." ...

...[T]he UNWG pointed out that both the Government and Thai businesses should regard Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Human Rights Defenders as “critical partners” and engage with them constructively to prevent, mitigate and remedy adverse human rights impacts. Therefore it is extremely disappointing to find the draft National Action Plan (NAP) is seriously lacking in both content and due process.

The...government was due to submit a draft of the NAP to CSOs before the National Consultation Workshop “The Roles of Civil Society Organizations in Drafting the National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights” scheduled for the 23rd August 2018. However, the draft did not reach CSO’s until early morning on the 22 August, less than 24 hours before the consultation...Failing to submit the draft in a timely manner means the Consultation cannot be meaningful and is waste of time and resources for all involved. The manner in which the consultation on the draft NAP has been managed shows a lack of respect for CSO’s, and brings into question the government’s sincerity and commitment to upholding the UN standards of Business and Human Rights.

...We urge the government to redraft the NAP ensuring it reflects the issues raised by the Thai people and the UNWG; reschedule the National Consultation Workshop for a date after CSOs have received the new draft and we have had reasonable amount of time to prepare our analysis and critique.