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25 Aug 2018

Pratch Rujivanarom, The Nation

Thailand: Groups urge govt to include all stakeholders in drafting the NAP on business & human rights

"Activists ignored in the drafting of rights plan," 24 August 2018

The government is being urged to include all stakeholders and every group affected by human rights violations by the business sector, as it works on a National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights.

Human rights defenders and local activists...revealed at a press conference...that their voices had been left out of the first draft of the plan.

The action plan will act as a set of core guidelines, setting out good practices for the authorities and the business sector to follow. Properly done, it will also offer a formal protection tool for local residents in Thailand and elsewhere against human rights violations by business operations.

That makes the successful development of the NAP a very big and important task, said Nattaporn Artharn, Manushya Foundation’s coordinator and a local human rights defender...

But the experience of CSOs so far with the RLPD’s approach to the NAP development process has caused concern in the sector. The people most affected from the business operations and development projects of Thai investors did not have a chance to raise their comments and opinions through this important process, said Nattaporn.

She urged the Justice Ministry and RLPD to respect the voices of these victims of human rights violations, and to include them on the development of the action plan so as to ensure that the drafting process will be transparent and just for all stakeholders.

The press conference included 16 nationwide representatives of victims groups who have experienced human rights violations...

Katima, a representative of the Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand, said ethnic minorities are among the people, who have most suffered due to bad business operations, but they have been left out of the NAP drafting process...