People and Planet Over Profit:
THAILAND'S THIRD UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW CYCLE
13 SEPTEMBER 2021
Thailand will be reviewed by UN Member States on all its human rights record during its Third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) taking place on 10 November 2021 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (39th Session of the UPR Working Group).
To tell the truth behind #WhatsHappeningInThailand and to guarantee Recommending States make SMART recommendations that will hold the Thai government accountable on its international human rights obligations and will improve the situation on the ground, Manushya Foundation, local community members of the Thai CSO Coalition for the UPR and the Thai BHR Network, and partner Civil Society Organizations have prepared UPR Advocacy Factsheets addressing the most challenging human rights issues and providing community-led UPR recommendations to be made to the Thai government.
The UPR Factsheet on People and Planet Over Profit: Development Projects and the Protection of Human Rights Defenders was prepared by Manushya Foundation.
The UPR Factsheet examines the compliance of Thailand with the recommendations it received during its 2nd UPR cycle in relation to People and Planet Over Profit: Development Projects and the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. In Thailand, the military-backed government has accelerated the push for economic growth, since it has become a priority in the country’s 20-year national strategy (2018-2037), Thailand 4.0 Policy and the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017–2021). Industrial expansion, the construction of big infrastructure projects, and the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) and corridors are all envisaged as means of achieving this goal. Nevertheless, while these investments can contribute to economic development opportunities, the combination of weak land governance, corruption, and lack of transparency, has created an unrestricted setting for projects and business practices where local communities’ rights are overlooked, being excluded from projects’ consultations, silenced by companies and evicted from their land. As a result, their distinct dependence and connection to their land, as part of their identity and culture, are often not prioritized over profit-making development projects, leading to the infringement of numerous human rights.
This factsheet addresses the challenges and issues that persist regarding the People and Planet Over Profit: Development Projects and the Protection of Human Rights Defenders which include:
Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local communities and indigenous peoples in relation to development projects is not sought
Adequate environmental impact assessments (EIAs) or Environmental and Health Impact Assessments (EHIAs) are not conducted in relation to development projects
Lands belonging to local communities and indigenous peoples are confiscated or ‘grabbed’ for economic development, such as the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) or Tourism resorts
The State fails to hold companies accountable for their adverse business conducts and to provide effective remedy and adequate compensation to victims
Intimidation tactics, Judicial Harassment against Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)
The UPR Factsheet includes community-led UPR recommendations for Recommending States to use when making their UPR recommendations to the Thai government and ensure their recommendations address the needs of local communities on the ground. It is critical for diplomats to make recommendations that are directly coming from communities to improve the human rights situation on the ground; as communities are experts of their issues: they live with the challenges and they also know the solutions they need to advance their human rights.
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