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7 Jun 2017

Human Rights Watch (USA)

Thailand: Human Rights Watch calls for criminal defamation charges by Thammakaset Farm against migrant workers to be dropped

"Thailand: Drop Defamation Charges Against Burmese Workers", 6 Jun 2017

Thai authorities should drop criminal defamation charges against 14 Burmese migrant workers who alleged that their employer violated their labor rights, Human Rights Watch [HRW] said... Proceedings in the case [began] ...on June 7, 2017. “The Thai government should not allow an employer to criminalize these migrant workers for reporting what they describe as...unlawful labor conditions.... The charges against these 14 workers should be dropped, and Thailand’s criminal defamation law should be abolished.” ... HRW’s research has found that..rights of migrant workers from Burma, Cambodia, and Laos working in Thailand have been regularly abused with impunity... Migrant workers frequently receive little or no protection from Thai labor laws despite government assertions that all legally registered migrant workers will be protected... Thailand's criminal defamation law employers with an easy way to retaliate... These lawsuits accuse critics of making false statements with the intent of damaging the company’s reputation.  On May 31, Prime Minister...emphasized the importance of companies...upholding the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.... However, the use of criminal defamation laws is inconsistent with these commitments... “The government is helping to chill the atmosphere for investigations of company supply chains, and is undermining corporate accountability, if it does not protect these 14 migrant workers from retaliation[.]”