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2 Apr 2019

UN WG on business & human rights and various special rapporteurs call on gov't to protect HRDs vs Thammakaset suits

30 January 2019


We have the honour to address you in our capacities as Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises; Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; and Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences...

...we would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government information we have received concerning the judicial harassment of human rights defender Ms. Sutharree Wannasiri and Mr. Nam Win, a migrant worker from Myanmar, for denouncing labor conditions of migrant workers in a Thai company, Thammakaset Co. Ltd (Thammakaset)...

As it is our responsibility, under the mandates provided to us by the Human Rights Council, to seek to clarify all cases brought to our attention, we would be grateful for your observations on the following matters:

...2. Please indicate what measures have been taken to ensure that human rights defenders, including labour rights defenders, in Thailand are able to carry out their legitimate work in a safe and enabling environment without fear of threats or acts of intimidation and harassment of any sort, including from civil and criminal defamation charges.

3. Please provide detailed information on any measures your Excellency’s Government has undertaken to promptly identify migrant workers who are victims or potential victims of trafficking for the purpose of forced labour or labour exploitation...

4....[P]lease highlight the steps that the Government has taken, or is considering to take, to ensure (i) that migrant workers are able to seek effective remedies for violations of their rights without any fear of intimidation, and (ii) that existing legislation are not misused by businesses to obstruct legitimate and peaceful activities of human rights defenders, including by filing civil and criminal defamation cases.

...8. Based on the Supreme Court’s order of 15 January 2019 to pay compensation to the fourteen migrant workers from Myanmar exploited by the Thammakaset farm, please indicate the timeframe for the payment.