Campaign Update:

March 12, 2019: Today Thailand’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Thammakset, ordering for the second time that the company pay 1.7 million Baht in compensation to the 14 migrant workers. This ruling is considered final and the migrant workers are due to receive compensation in full within the next seven days.

Fight exploitation in the Thai chicken industry

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“All day and all night we had to work. I don’t want anyone else to have to face the same ordeal.” Nayto, migrant worker from Myanmar

In late June 2016, 14 migrant workers escaped a chicken farm in the Lopburi region of Thailand. Their reports of harsh treatment, exhaustive hours and despicable work conditions made instant headlines.1

The 14 workers told Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) that they were subjected to abusive supervisors, working hours that stretched through the day and night. They said they had little to no time off and endured terrible living conditions – sometimes sleeping alongside the hatchlings. The workers said they could only leave for a single two-hour supervised trip per week and that their passports were confiscated.

“I worked for 4 and a half years, often cramming 2 days’ work into one. I’m tired now and want to go home.” Myint, migrant worker from Myanmar

Betagro is one of Thailand’s largest chicken exporters, supplying chicken for pet food and ready-made meals, used to buy from this farm but recently cut ties.2 Yet by cutting off this supplier, there is little leverage to rectify abuses and promote improved labor protections down their supply chain.

Since launching this campaign in 2016, Thai courts have ordered compensation for the workers, but they and other human rights defenders are not in the clear just yet.

The farm owner continues to press defamation charges against Nan Win — one of the 14 workers — and Thai human rights activist Sutharee Wannasiri for speaking out about the abuses.3

Farm workers and their allies should never face industry retaliation for exposing labor violations.

Stand with migrant workers in the Thai poultry industry who fight for justice and demand an end to their harassment.

  • March 12, 2019: Today Thailand’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Thammakset, ordering for the second time that the company pay 1.7 million Baht in compensation to the 14 migrant workers. This ruling is considered final and the migrant workers are due to receive compensation in full within the next seven days.

  • February 14,  2019: Today we, along with 88 international, regional, and local organizations from around the world, sent a letter to Thailand’s Prime Minister to oppose and seek the dismissal of several spurious complaints brought by Thai-owned poultry farm company Thammakaset Co. Ltd. against several human rights defenders in Thailand. Read the full letter here.

  • January 15, 2019: Thailand’s Supreme Court has upheld a ruling in favor of the 14 migrant workers, ordering that they be paid the 1.7 million baht ($53,000) compensation owed to them. Read more on this encouraging development here.

  • November 22, 2018: Migrant workers continue to face legal challenges from Thammakaset Farm and have yet to receive any compensation. Nan Win, one of the migrant workers, faces his preliminary hearing early next month in the criminal defamation case brought against him and 13 other workers by Thammakaset Farm.

  • August 13, 2018: Today two of the workers reported to a police station to hear an additional and separate set of criminal theft charges filed by the chicken farm on August 1, 2018, alleging the theft of the worker’s own timecards, showing working hours of up to 20 hours per day. These two workers face up to five years in prison and a 100, 000 Thai baht fine if convicted.

  • July 11, 2018: Great news! Today, a Bangkok Court read its verdict in the criminal defamation case filed against the 14 workers and found them not guilty. This is a landmark ruling for migrant workers’ rights in Thailand, but we are still waiting to see the 14 Myanmar workers receive the compensation they are owed.

  • July 2018: The verdict on the workers’ case is expected to be heard on July 11.

  • February 2018: The trial against the 14 workers on criminal defamation charges began on February 7 and has been adjourned until April.

  • 14 September 2017: Following the employer’s appeal of the lower court’s decision, the Thai Supreme Court upheld the award of 1.7 million Thai Baht (US$52,000) in compensation to the 14 workers. Criminal charges, brought by the employer against the workers and human rights activist Andy Hall, remain.

  • 17 March 2017: Thai courts have ordered the chicken farm owner to pay 1.7 million Thai Baht in compensation to the workers in recognition of the exploitation they experienced. This falls far short of the full amount lawyers were pursuing for the workers. Private negotiations to resolve the case between all parties has broken down and criminal charges of defamation brought against the workers by the chicken farm owner are ongoing.

Jul 19, 2016 Campaign Launches

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Freedom UnitedG. C. MathurLuke LeedenAlisonSajjad Sulman Recent comment authors
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G. C. Mathur
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G. C. Mathur

I would have loved to donate money for the cause, but am not in position to spare. How I pray Almighty to help you carry your mission through the thick and thin. With best wishes

Freedom United
Admin

Thank you so much for your support!

Luke Leeden
Guest
Luke Leeden

Over the years I have given many Australian dollars to Thailand as both a tourist and donator – I may choose to donate and travel elsewhere

Alison
Guest
Alison

Fantastic result! Now let’s help the chickens whose lives are 100% brutality and exploitation. Another way we make living beings into puppets for ‘the love of money’ and ‘how it makes us feel’. There is of course the interim problem of employment for chicken workers but we can and must transition to kind ways of making food.

Sajjad Sulman
Guest
Sajjad Sulman

Freedom is the birth right of every person, We should walk with the effected people .

Graeme Hunter
Guest

People who make others slaves are inadequate themselves, why for they have to use and abuse people for their own pleasure. That includes making money, they have not the decency to employ them and give a living wage and profit is their motive.

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