Thailand: Supreme Court orders compensation for 14 migrant workers accusing Thammakaset farm of labour exploitation

On 15 January 2019, Thailand’s Supreme Court ordered compensation be paid to 14 migrant workers from Myanmar exploited by Thammakaset farm, a subsidiary of the Betagro group. Experts said that this decison is a landmark legal case for migrant workers.

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15 January 2019

Thai top court orders compensation for Myanmar workers in landmark case

Author: Rina Chandran, Reuters

Thailand’s highest court…ordered compensation be paid to 14 migrant workers from Myanmar whose accusations against a chicken farm of abuses sparked a landmark legal case for migrant laborers. 

The workers in 2016 officially complained to Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission about forced overtime, being paid less than the minimum wage, confiscation of passports, and limited freedom of movement. 

But employer Thammakaset farm, which had supplied meat to Thai food conglomerate Betagro, denied the charges and launched a defamation lawsuit, saying the workers voluntarily worked nights and chose to sleep next to the chicken warehouse. 

Betagro, which sells to companies around the globe, later said it had cut ties with the farm.

After a three-year legal battle, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court verdict from 2016 which found in favor of the workers and ruled they must be paid 1.7 million baht ($53,000) in compensation…

A lawyer for the workers said they welcomed the verdict in a country that has been at the center of a slew of slavery and human trafficking cases, including in its seafood sector…

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