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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

"From Voluntary Measures to Mandatory Corporate Accountability"

Welcoming the First NAP on Business & Human Rights in Asia, while highlighting the need to engage in the UN Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporations and Other Business.

Bangkok, Thailand - On 31 October 2019, Manushya Foundation met with Ms. Nareeluc Pairchaiyapoom, Director of the International Human Rights Division (RLPD) at the Ministry of Justice and Mr. Chaiyakorn Kiatpongsan, Counsellor head of the human rights section, Department of International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand to welcome Thailand's National Action Plan on Business & Human Rights (#NAP-#BHR), the first NAP in Asia, as well as to discuss monitoring and implementation of the NAP following a multi-stakeholder approach.

While it is a first step towards raising awareness on the #UNGPs with the private sector and encouraging Responsible Business conducts, there still remain gaps as the NAP-BHR contains only voluntary measures.

Thus, Manushya Foundation stressed on the critical need for the Thai Government to also engage in the UN Legally Binding Treaty on #HumanRights & business to ensure corporate accountability for human rights violations, to establish mandatory human rights due diligence and guarantee effective access to remedies for victims. The Legally Binding Treaty on human rights & business is vitally important as it will become the first ever UN Human Rights Instrument to hold Non-State Actors (companies) liable for human rights violations!

We used this opportunity to submit ESCR-Net Collective Position on the legally binding treaty, which includes Manushya Foundation & more than 280 other CSOs voices, in order to invite the Thai government to represent the Asian context and challenges on the negative impacts of business activities in the Treaty negotiations. We are pleased by the positive response of the government and look forward to collaborating together on raising awareness on the legally binding treaty throughout Thailand, in order to guarantee local and marginalized communities can influence Thailand's position in the Treaty.

Finally, it was also the occasion to follow-up on the UN Communication related to the Sai Thong National Park case, in which 14 human rights defenders have been unfairly criminalized and are victims of the controversial Forest Reclamation Policy. The Government confirmed it is gathering information from relevant ministries and will reply to the UN Special Rapporteurs as soon as possible. Read here more about the Sai Thong National Park case.

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