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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

Marginalized Workers & COVID-19: Forgotten by the system, ignored by the Government

#WhatsHappeningInThailand 🇹🇭 Workers all across Thailand were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of them were laid off without getting paid, many were left without any governmental support. Is this how hard-working people should be treated? Read how more about the issue 👇🏼

⚠️ It's the person who drives you to work in the morning. The person who prepares your lunch at a food stall or who brings your delivery when you just want to stay at home in the evening. The person who sews your clothes in a factory. These are hard-working people who you depend on in your daily life. But in times of crisis like COVID-19, they find themselves without protection - forgotten by the system and ignored by the Government.

🚫 Informal workers were hit especially hard during the pandemic. Many of them lost their jobs or most of their income during the first lockdown. But even after the economy opened up again in summer 2020, they never reached the same income as before. Further, formal workers also experienced severe lay-offs without getting paid for their work!

🚫 Even without the pandemic, employers in Thailand often take advantage of their staff. For example, by subcontracting their employees, employers get away with paying them at a lower rate, providing them with little to no support for social welfare, and employing them in inhumane working hours and conditions.

The situation is even worse for already marginalized groups such as indigenous peoples, sex workers, and migrant workers. Also, a large amount of employees doesn't have a chance to collectively bargain with their employers in line with international human rights standards.

📍In November 2021, Thailand will undergo its 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) — a comprehensive review of its human rights record where it will be held accountable for its human rights violations in front of delegations from the whole world. Each UN Member State, individual country, can make recommendations to Thailand to improve the human rights situation on the ground. The Thai government will accept or note those.

In the last UPR cycle, Thailand accepted 50 recommendations relevant to labour rights. However, despite its own commitments in the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, the Government has only implemented 2 of them.

🗣️ We call on Thai authorities to:

✔️ Ensure that the human rights of formal and informal workers are respected.

✔️ Provide social protection for workers affected by lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.

✔️ Ensure that all employees have an opportunity to bargain with their employers.

#VoicesOfThailand ✊🏽 To support the initiative, Manushya Foundation, Women Workers for Justice Group, and HomeNet Thailand have prepared the UPR Factsheet on Labour Rights in Thailand to tell the world the truth.

Share this with your network to ensure the world knows about #WhatsHappeningInThailand!

👉🏼 Access the UPR Advocacy Factsheet on Labour Rights in Thailand here.

👉🏼 Access all the UPR Advocacy Factsheets on #WhatsHappeningInThailand here.

👉🏼 Learn more about the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) here.





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