Thursday, September 24, 2020

Cambodian farmers sue Thai sugar giant in ‘watershed case’

Jul 31. 2020
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By The Nation

A Bangkok court’s decision to accept a lawsuit from Cambodian families who are suing Thai sugar giant Mitr Phol after being evicted from their homes in 2008-09 was hailed today as a turning point for human rights and corporate accountability in the region.

“Today’s ruling is a watershed moment for human rights and corporate accountability in Southeast Asia. The decision rightly recognises that national borders must not provide corporations with a free pass to act with impunity, nor should they pose a barrier to anyone seeking justice for alleged human rights abuses,” Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said.

The class action by more than 700 Cambodian families is the first lawsuit filed in Thailand by plaintiffs from another country against a Thai company operating abroad. As such it is also seen as a test case for transboundary disputes in the region.

“After a decade-long battle, the hundreds of affected Cambodian families will finally have their day in court after years of struggle and destitution. A powerful message has been sent to corporate actors across the region that they will be answerable for their conduct,” said Ming.

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