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21 Feb 2017

Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, and Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children

Joint communication from UN Human Rights Council special procedures to Thai Government

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16 Nov 2016

...we would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government information we have received concerning the sentence issued against human rights defender Mr. Andy Hall for monitoring and reporting on the precarious working conditions of migrant workers in the food processing industry in Thailand, as well as Ms. Ye Ye and Mr. Su Yong, two migrant workers facing theft charges after seeking to provide proof for human rights violations at a poultry farm…

Concern is expressed that the sentence imposed on Mr. Hall is related to his legitimate and peaceful work as a human rights defender. The sentencing also represents criminalization of his legitimate right to freedom of expression and the gathering and dissemination of facts concerning serious human rights violations within Thailand’s fruit processing industry. Concern is also expressed at the use of criminal defamation laws against Mr. Hall under defamation charges for reporting on alleged human rights violations perpetrated by the Natural Fruit Company…Particular concerns are also expressed with regards to the right of a fair trial, the right to due process and the independence of the judiciary.

Further concern is expressed that the conviction and sentencing of Mr. Hall and his recent decision to leave the country because of security concerns may have a “chilling effect” on other human rights defenders and civil society activists working in Thailand and elsewhere to expose human rights violations perpetrated by non-State actors, including business enterprises...

Concern is also expressed with regards to the exploitation of migrant workers in the poultry industry. While we welcome some progress achieved in combating exploitation of migrant workers, such as reinforcing the labor inspection system, drafting legislation over labor agencies, introducing measures to prevent debt bondage and trafficking in human beings and creating stronger sanctions for labor abuse, we remain concerned over the continuation of abusive working conditions migrant workers face in the food processing industry…

Part of the following timelines

Thailand: Govt. responds to UN experts concerns on labour, freedom of expression & cases of Andy Hall & others

Natural Fruit Company lawsuits (re defamation suits against Andy Hall, Thailand)