Skip to content

Rights groups call on Thailand to respect human rights defenders

December 12, 2016

The Freedom Fund joined 60 civil society groups, 28 unions, 13 companies and nine members of the European Parliament calling on the Thailand to respect human rights defenders speaking out on behalf of exploited workers.

In a letter sent to the Thai Prime Minister on Saturday, 10 December, the Freedom Fund and others urged Thailand to ensure that human rights defenders are protected by repealing criminal defamation, amending other laws limiting freedom of expression, implementing the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, and ratifying and implementing the International Labour Organisation Core Labour Conventions.

The letter follows the conviction of Andy Hall, a human rights defender, for research he undertook by interviewing migrant workers in Thailand which was later published by the Finnish NGO Finnwatch. The signatories noted that Hall’s conviction will create a chilling effect on independent supply chain research in Thailand, and that any nation that hinders supply chain research would place companies seeking greater transparency in their sourcing decisions at risk.

“The work of Andy Hall and other human rights defenders on supply chains is essential to improving the lives of migrant workers in Thailand and their families in Southeast Asia,” the Freedom Fund and others wrote in a letter. “This work should be commended, not criminalized, by the Thai government.”

Read the full letter here.

Written by
The Freedom Fund