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Emilie Pradichit denounces corporate capture & calls for anti-SLAPP legislation at #UNForumBHR 2022

#Recap 📢 Emilie Palamy Pradichit denounces corporate capture & calls for anti-SLAPP legislation at #UNForumBHR 2022

#BizHumanRights 📍 Manushya's Founder & Executive Director, Emilie Palamy Pradichit spoke at the excellent official session on “Preventing ‘corporate capture’: Responsible policy and regulatory engagement” of the 11th UN Forum Business & Human Rights in Geneva!

🗣️ In her powerful intervention, Emilie spoke the truth about corporate capture and how corporations’ interference in judicial proceedings and legislation for their benefit harms people's lives and the environment, resulting in human rights violations.

Emilie provided examples of manifestations of corporate capture in Thailand:

🛑 Community manipulation of the Southern Thepa community by EGAT (Thailand's Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand), which planned to build a coal-fired power plant that would destroy communities' livelihoods and the environment! Local communities in Thepa were not meaningfully consulted about the negative impacts of constructing a coal-fired power plant. Those to be affected were not given adequate information, and only the supposed advantages of the construction of the plant were explained; such as jobs creation. Even worse, the attendance lists of the consultations were falsely used as consent for the construction.

🛑 Judicial interference experienced by the community from #JusticeForPhichit waiting for justice for more than 20 years, after Akara Resources, a subsidiary of the Australian gold mining company Kingsgate, started operations in Petchabun and Phichit provinces in 2001. Communities who have lived there for generations have been negatively affected by the company's activities. Over 300 villagers have filed a class action lawsuit against Akara Resources, demanding justice and fair compensation for the damages caused by Akara Resources, such as the loss of their livelihoods, water contamination impacted their health, and pollution damaging the environment.

🚨 Justice delayed is Justice denied: While the court hearing keeps postponing, the Thai government has extended four licenses to Kingsgate in January 2022, after being pressured by the company under the international arbitration process, to reopen the gold mine in Phichit province.

🛑 Legislative interference, as seen recently in Thailand with the Government’s greenwashing schemes such as the Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model (BCG). Many communities of indigenous peoples or forest-dependent peoples have lived in forests for decades and even support forest preservation through their traditional way of farmland cultivation. The BCG policy allows companies to invest in carbon credits for reforestation, while indigenous peoples are criminalized for practicing their traditional way of life and are even facing eviction from their land, instead of being celebrated as guardians of the forest!

❗ Emilie exposed not only the manifestation of corporate capture in Thailand but also the corporate capture of the UN itself, present for example during the negotiations on the #BindingTreaty on Business and Human Rights.

"What is also happening here, at the UN, when it comes to Business and Human Rights, is also a corporate capture of the UN, with the ICC [International Chamber of Commerce] and the IOE [International Organisation of Employers] doing their best to weaken the negotiations around the legally Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights. We would like the corporate capture of the UN to stop!"

Emilie Palamy Pradichit, Manushya's Human Founder & Executive Director

#StopSLAPP🗣️ Emilie also highlighted the necessary need for standalone anti-SLAPP legislation to avoid corporate capture of the judiciary. She gave examples of existing anti-SLAPP measures in Thailand provided in the Criminal Procedure Code but that are not actionable and unable to effectively prevent SLAPP charges against Human Rights Defenders.

The Thai Criminal Procedure Code includes two sections to actually provide the courts with a legal basis for dismissing criminal cases lacking merit and brought in bad faith against individuals who promote human rights or the public interest.

1️⃣ The first section, section 161/1 of the Criminal Procedure Code gives Thai courts the power to dismiss the case if it is launched by the company in bad faith. However, in reality, courts do not feel vested with the power to dismiss the case, because of corporate capture of the judiciary.

2️⃣ The second section, section 165/2 of the Criminal Procedure Code, gives the defendant the option to present more evidence to the court to prove that the suit is lacking merit. The problem is that the burden of the proof is on the defendant. HRDs often have limited resources, finances, and access to information, making it difficult for them to provide the necessary evidence to inform the case. How can we expect HRDs to become their own lawyers?

"The anti-SLAPP measures the Thai government praises itself with, on paper look good; but in reality, they are not actionable and they are not sufficient. Even when courts are invested with the power to dismiss a SLAPP case, when businesses are clearly acting in bad faith, judges don't do so because of corporate capture of the judiciary."

Emilie Palamy Pradichit, Manushya's Human Founder & Executive Director

Watch Emilie's full intervention on Youtube:

#WeAreManusyhan - Equal Human Beings

🔗 While you’re here, read more about our advocacy during the #UNForumBHR 2022, and about our work fighting for real corporate accountability and #StopSLAPP:


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