📢 BREAKING: Chatree Gold Mine restarted, threatening villagers' health and livelihoods again.
🚨The nightmare of Phichit and Phetchabun communities becomes reality again as the Chatree Goldmining Complex located on the border of Phichit and Phetchabun provinces reopened on March 21st, after a 6-year shutdown over environmental and sanitary grounds.
After five years of arbitration, the thai government decided to put profit above people and the planet and renewed four licenses to Akara Resources Public Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Australian mining company Kingsgate Consolidated Limited, allowing it to re-open the Chatree complex. All four are valid from 31 December 2021 for 10 years.
📍 Goldmining in Chatree has already proved to violate the human rights of Phichit villagers, putting their health in danger, and destroying their livelihoods. Since Chatree started operating in 2001, over 6,000 villagers have experienced its adverse impacts on their health, livelihoods, and environment.
🩺 For 20 years, the communities’ fundamental rights such as the right to safe and clean water and the right to the highest standard of attainable health have been violated. Sometimes, living at a 300-meter distance from the pit the villagers suffered recurring health issues such as itchy skin, rashes, wounds, and numbness. Repeated blood and urine testing revealed the presence of heavy metals in villagers’ bodies that exceeded standard levels. They also became at heightened risk of liver, skin and blood cancer and were troubled with lung and respiratory diseases as a result of air and water pollution from the mine.
🌱 Due to polluted natural resources and the environment, including contaminated groundwater, farmers in the community were unable to cultivate their lands, resulting in the loss of their primary source of income and a violation of their right to work.
❌ When the affected communities raised their concerns and fought against the injustice by lodging complaints with government authorities, and holding peaceful protests, instead of receiving support, they were subjected to threats, intimidation, judicial harassment, and even imprisonment. The company targeted those who spoke out to discourage them from continuing their fight, depleting their financial resources. The SLAPP cases (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) filed by Akara and by the Thai government against the villagers who dared to speak up resulted in self-censorship among the communities, who feared being prosecuted for their activism, which violates their right to freedom of expression and assembly.
So far, the affected communities didn’t receive adequate compensation from the Thai government and the company running the gold mining complex.
✊ #WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings
✊ We support the villagers in their fight for justice and to receive compensation for their suffered damage. We will continue to fight together to make sure their rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled! Manushya Foundation supports and allies with local communities facing corporate abuse, fighting for their rights and saving the environment.
❗ Manushya Foundation stands against corporate capture and putting profit over People and the Planet. We urge the Thai government to stop corporate greed and impunity. We demand real #CorporateAccountability — we want those businesses to be responsible for all of their human rights violations, including on minorities and marginalized groups.
🔗 Learn more about our efforts to #JusticeforPhichit here. You can also watch this video to hear this powerful story from the community members themselves!
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