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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

The Thai Government must protect local communities' rights from business exploitation!

🚨 Far too often, corporate abuse and exploitation target ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples. New projects are planned and realized without any human rights concerns and due diligence. The minimum legal requirements protecting the rights of concerned communities are often tainted by corrupt practices such as community manipulation or harassment of human rights defenders opposing the projects. And the benefits promised to the communities? The business operations eventually only benefit the interests of the capitalists invested in the project, at the expense of the communities and their environment.

📍 #SaveChana For example, in 2020, the Government approved an 18.7 billion THB construction in Chana district, Songkhla province. The economic development promised by the Government does not benefit the local population who is worried about the future of their traditional lifestyle and health. The community voices were completely ignored throughout the planning process and on 6 December 2021, Chana community members were even arrested while peacefully protesting to #SaveChana from capitalist investors!

➡️ There are many similar stories around Thailand. Indigenous peoples, Isaan people or Malayu Muslim communities in the Southern Border Provinces are excluded from participation in the planning and implementation process and their right to free, prior and informed consent is hardly ever respected. The consequences? They risk losing their livelihoods, homes and health to the business operations that don't put People over Profit!

📌 In November 2021, the CERD Committee addressed the issue of Business exploitation of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities during Thailand's CERD Review. It pointed out the widespread issue of land grabbing, resulting in social conflict and forced evictions of indigenous peoples from their lands. The Committee made the legally binding recommendation to Thailand to "Strengthen the implementation of its national action plan on business and human rights with a view to preventing business entities from engaging in activities which adversely affect the rights of indigenous peoples, among others."

Moreover, during its 3rd UPR Review, Thailand received 3 recommendations to address business-related human rights abuses from the State of Palestine, Pakistan, and Iraq.

❌ As a response to both CERD and UPR, the Thai Government tried to save its face saying that it had the 1st National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in Asia. However, this Plan lacks legally binding elements and doesn't address indigenous peoples' concerns (a community whose existence Thailand refuses to admit!)

WeAreManushyan - Equal Human Beings

✊ Let's make some noise and denounce the Government's hypocrisy and inaction concerning business-related human rights abuses on ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples!

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  • Manushya Foundation, Chana case:

  • Manushya Foundation, Thepa coal power plant:

  • Manushya Foundation, Joint Civil Society Report for Thailand's CERD review :

  • Manushya Foundation, Isaan people Community rights in Loei Province:


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