Last month, EarthRights School students from all over the Mekong region went on a field trip to learn about Special Economic Zones (SEZ). They visited various areas impacted by often rapid and irresponsible development in Thailand, including Map Ta Phut, the site of Thailand’s largest industrial park. According to the World Resources Institute, Map Ta Phut is “…one of Thailand’s most toxic hot spots with a history of air and water pollution, industrial accidents, illegal hazardous waste dumping, and pollution-related health impacts, including cancer and birth deformities. ”
ERS students met with many local defenders and campaign leaders challenging the harmful development projects in their communities.