Thai Outbound Investments in the Mekong Region and Myanmar
Protecting Human Rights and Ensuring Due Diligence in Thailand’s Outbound Investments
Thai investors currently finance 13 megaprojects across Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, including energy projects and large-scale sugar concessions. They have become key players in the global market economy, as coal, oil and hydropower investors, and as major buyers of electricity. Human rights violations are common across Thai outbound investments, as acknowledged by the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT). These violations are caused by land grabs, forced evictions, and a disregard for host country and international law.
Affected communities struggle to access justice and remedies in part because there is no legislation in Thailand to ensure that Thai investors fulfill their extraterritorial responsibilities. Domestic efforts to push for regulation of Thai outbound investment face challenges due to a lack of implementation of Thailand’s commitments to regulate outbound investment.
The Thai Extraterritorial Obligation Watch Working Group calls for the Thai government to take concrete steps to monitor, prevent, investigate, and redress human rights abuses by Thai investors, and to enforce stronger regulations for activities of Thai investors abroad, including around projects with transboundary impacts. This briefer was prepared for distribution at the United Nations Business and Human Rights Forum in Geneva, November 25-27, 2017.