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Andy Hall : Burmese Migrant Rights Advocate to Face Thai Court

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  • Andy Hall : Burmese Migrant Rights Advocate to Face Thai Court

  • #2
    Andy Hall : Burmese Migrant Rights Advocate to Face Thai Court

    Burmese Migrant Rights Advocate to Face Thai Court
    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

    British labor right activist Andy Hall with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. (Photo:



    • #3

      Finnwatch reveals labour abuses among Thai suppliers to Europe
      January 21, 2013

      Finnwatch, an independent researcher on corporate responsibility issues, on Monday accused a major Thai supplier of pineapple concentrate to Europe of extensive labour abuses.Serious human rights violations at Natural Fruit factoryFinnwatchSource:

      .................................................. ............

      Source: Thailand: Criminal lawsuit lodged against human rights defender Mr Andy Hall | Front Line


      • #4
        Thai Court Hits British Migrant Rights Activist with 4th Charge, Seizes Passport
        LAWI WENG
        Thursday, June 19, 2014

        Andy Hall (wearing blue) and his legal team, with Thai Frozen Foods Association and Thai Tuna Industry Association representatives, in front of the Prakanong Court on Wednesday.

        (Photo: Andy Hall)



        • #5
          Downgrade a wake-up call
          Achara Ashayagachat

          Washington's decision to downgrade Thailand in its annual human trafficking review is a wake-up call to improve the treatment of workers across the entire export supply chain, says a human rights campaigner.

          Andy Hall said the downgrade was necessary to force Thai businesses and officials, as well as international buyers of Thai goods, to put effective measures in place to address trafficking in persons, particularly forced labour.

          "Tier 3 status for Thailand (in the US report) is called for as acknowledgement of the severity of the human trafficking situation here and failure of successive administrations to address the breakdown in rule of law and migration policy that have led to this poor situation," said Mr Hall.

          Thailand needs to fight hard, not just on the PR front, to regain international confidence in its labour-intensive export industries including seafood, fruit and vegetables, poultry and rubber, as well as on the tourism front, said the British activist.

          The country has to show its ability and willingness to guarantee protection for workers in all parts of its supply chain, he added.

          Mr Hall is currently fighting four civil and criminal defamation charges laid by a local pineapple processor accused of exploiting Myanmar migrants in a report that he produced.

          The United States on Friday downgraded Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela to Tier 3, which groups the world's worst centres for human trafficking, such as North Korea and Syria.

          While Thai Foreign Ministry officials and diplomats have voiced their disappointment, a business leader said the economic and business consequences of the downgrade might not be as severe as some believe.

          The direct impact might not be obvious except that certain products may not receive import tariff reductions under the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), said Pornsil Patcharintanakul, a vice-president of the Board of Trade.

          Shrimp and prawns, products containing fish meat and prepared meals lost their GSP status some years ago, but some other products that are still eligible for GSP might be removed from the list, said Mr Pornsil.

          He said the key impact was on the image of the country, which would affect the decisions of buyers, both importers and end-consumers, to purchase Thai products, particularly in Europe.


          • #6
            Rights activist says criminal case will test military's foreign labour promises



            • #7
              Human rights defender is battling on
              13 July 2014




              • #8
                Slavery Scandal Tests Thailand Legal


                • #9
                  Rights group out to protect Andy Hall
                  August 8, 2014

                  Nearly 100 international and national labour and human rights groups and NGOs today sent a joint-letter to members of the Thai Pineapple Industry Association (TPIA), calling on them to to urge TPIA member Natural Fruit to drop the criminal and civil charges it leveled against researcher and labor rights activist Andy Hall.

                  According to a statement, signatories to the letter include representatives of more than 20 countries, as well as global organisations including the International Trade Union Confederation, European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) and Human Rights Watch. The letter requests the removal of

                  Wirat Piyapornpaiboon, CEO of Natural Fruit as TIPA president and the revocation of Natural Fruit's membership in TPIA if it refuses to drop the case.



                  • #10
                    European food companies call foul over Thailand fruit company

                    Business joins the international outcry over Thai company's lawsuits against human rights investigator Andy Hall. He faces civil and criminal charges over his work for rights group Finnwatch.

                    A group of major European firms has joined the growing international outcry against the trial of a British activist in Thailand. Andy Hall was investigating migrant labor conditions in the country's food industry. International food purchaser and wholesaler United Nordic has called the lawsuits, brought by Thailand's Natural Fruit Company, a ''negative development'' and called for ''the engagement of constructive dialogue with organisation and civil society.''

                    Andy Hall worked for rights group Finnwatch documenting migrant labor rights abuses. His accusations of forced and child labor illegally low wages and long hours in a Natural Fruits factory was met with a frenzy of civil and criminal lawsuits.

                    Court appearance soon

                    Hall is next due in court on September 2 on a defamation charge, which cites an interview he gave Al Jazeera in Burma. United Fruit is also claiming $10 million (7.6 million euros) damages. Finnwatch calls the charges ''not only unfounded but also a part of a wider attempt to limit the activities of human rights defenders and the freedom of expression in Thailand.''

                    Nearly 100 international and national labor and rights groups have lobbied the Thai Pineapple Industry Association to rein in Natural Fruit. So far the TPIA has responded with a threat of further lawsuits. Finnwatch says it is keeping the European food industry abreast of developments.



                    • #11
                      British Activist faces & years in jail if found guilty

                      British labour activist Andy Hall in Thailand trial

                      Mr Hall has campaigned to improve labour conditions in Thailand and Myanmar

                      A British activist who campaigns for better working conditions is set to go on trial in Thailand charged with criminal defamation.

                      The alleged offence is one of a series of charges relating to a report into labour abuses which Andy Hall helped write two years ago.

                      He was charged after a complaint by one of the Thai food companies he wrote about.

                      Mr Hall's website says he faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty.

                      The report he helped to write claimed that Thailand's Natural Fruit Company, the country's largest producer of pineapples, mistreated its workers.

                      BBC south-east Asia correspondent Jonathan Head said a number of European retail and labour organisations had called on the company to withdraw its complaint and "investigate the allegations against it instead".

                      He said Thailand had grown to become one of the world's biggest food producers, but it had an "image problem" and had been criticised for the treatment of migrant workers.

                      This year Thailand was downgraded by the US to the lowest level on its annual list of countries that tolerate human trafficking.

                      The frequent use of the criminal defamation law in Thailand to silence critics has been condemned by human rights groups, our correspondent added.

                      Last edited by Mid; 09-02-2014, 12:31 PM. Reason: formatting


                      • #12
                        Andy Hall defiant as trial begins

                        BANGKOK - A British activist is set to face a defamation charge in a Bangkok court Tuesday stemming from a report he co-authored on alleged labour abuses in Thailand's food industry.

                        A worker checks a pineapple at a market in Bangkok on June 15, 2009

                        Andy Hall, 34, faces civil and criminal lawsuits submitted by Thai fruit processor Natural Fruit, after his report levelled accusations of forced and child labour, unlawfully low wages and long hours at one of its factories.

                        Natural Fruit is a major supplier to the European drink market and leading European food companies have urged the company to drop its legal action.

                        Prosecution witnesses are expected to begin testimony on Tuesday as the trial, which is linked to an interview Hall gave to the Al-Jazeera television network, gets under way.

                        Defamation is a criminal offence in Thailand and Hall, who has had his passport confiscated by Thai authorities pending the trial, could be jailed for up to a year if found guilty.

                        More serious charges under the computer crime act - which carries up to seven years in jail for each count - are due to be heard later in September.

                        Natural Fruit is also seeking $10 million through a civil suit.

                        Hall has stood by his report, labelling the charges against him "judicial harassment" in a nation whose image has been battered by a slew of recent scandals linked to the treatment of migrant workers.

                        "This is a country that's dependent - 10% to 15% of the labour force is from overseas - and they've had no migration policy, no rational policy, no long-term policy," he told AFP ahead of the trial.

                        "The exploitation has been getting worse and more confused and more messy. The corruption is systematic. We haven't seen anyone addressing that... It is just the tip of the iceberg."

                        Hall made the allegations in a report last year for Finnish rights watchdog Finnwatch.

                        A Natural Fruit factory in southern Thailand was investigated for a Finnwatch report called "Cheap Has a High Price" because it produced pineapple concentrate for Finnish supermarkets' private label products, according to the watchdog.

                        Finnwatch has called on Thailand, the world's largest pineapple producer, to change its approach "instead of issuing threats and exploiting workers".

                        Thailand taps the labour markets of poorer neighbours Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, whose migrants help keep major Thai industries from seafood to construction afloat.

                        But they often lack official work permits and are paid below the minimum wage.

                        Thailand's junta triggered an exodus of Cambodian workers following May's military coup with its threat to arrest and deport illegal labourers, although thousands have since returned.

                        The junta has since pledged to simplify the registration process for migrant workers seeking an official work permit.



                        • #13
                          'Get our son home from his Thailand nightmare'
                          September 06, 2014

                          Close family: Andy Hall with his mum


                          • #14
                            I read this guy thought he would win

                            Good luck to him


                            • #15
                              I have to wonder what he has for brains? Common sense should tell anyone that if you spout your mouth off to a newspaper, be it in your own country or elsewhere it will likely land you in hot water. Nothing wrong with sticking up for workers rights but he should have waited until he was out of the country.


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