Press Release : Country Visit of the Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises 26 March – 4 April 2018 news3

Press Release : Country Visit of the Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises 26 March – 4 April 2018

Upon the Royal Thai Government’s invitation, the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises paid an official visit to Thailand during 26 March – 4 April 2018.

During the visit, the Government facilitated for the Working Group to meet and discuss with relevant government agencies, representatives of the private sector, the National Reform Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National Legislative Assembly as well as authorities in Songkhla, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Samut Sakhon Provinces. The Working Group also had the opportunity to meet with members of the civil society in Bangkok and the four Provinces. This reflects the Government’s openness and willingness to exchange views with the Working Group on promoting business and human rights.

The visit is a mutual learning experience. The Thai side reaffirms its commitment on issues of business and human rights. Thailand is among the first countries in Asia, in which the governments initiated the work on a national action plan on business and human rights. More specifically, the Working Group’s visit is expected to help in the drafting process of a national action plan of Thailand. During the visit, the Thai side also had the opportunity to discuss with the Working Group on the structure and key areas of the draft national action plan.

The Working Group only had 10 days to learn about the developments and challenges in Thailand, which might be challenging for them to fully grasp a full picture. The Thai side took note of the recommendations of the Working Group and will make use of the recommendations as applicable to Thailand’s context. The Thai side will also provide further clarifications to the Working Group where there are factual discrepancies. As the next step, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Ministry of Justice, will hold a meeting with relevant agencies to consider further actions on the Working Group’s recommendations.

The Working Group will present its full report to the Human Rights Council Geneva in June 2019.