6.4.2018

The freedom of action of human rights defenders must be ensured

At the end of March the Thai court ordered human rights defender Andy Hall to pay 260 000 Eur in compensation for the defamation to Natural Fruit company.

We are upset about the verdict. Human rights defenders make a significant efforts to improve workers' rights and should have the opportunity to act without fear. A free civil society benefits businesses also. Instead of the legal process, the problems must be resolved first and foremost with transparency and dialogue.

In recent years Thailand has launched measures to eradicate human rights violations. The measures are steps to the right direction, but alongside them, the work of NGOs and human rights defenders is also needed to improve human rights situation. In addition employees must have the opportunity to safely and legitimately raise their concerns.

Lea Rankinen, SVP Sustainability, SOK

tel. 010 768 2453

A report released by Finnwatch in March 2013 revealed misconducts of the production conditions of pineapple juice in Thailand. One of researchers of the report British lawyer Andy Hall has been charged with several other charges of defamation, which is considered to be a very serious offense in Thailand. The S Group representative testified for Hall in Bangkok in the trial in summer 2016. The trial was related to a different charge than the verdict now given. S Group has made a donation to the collection of Freedom Fund which supports Andy Hall in appealing a court decision.

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