Phuket companies reminded of human rights

PHUKET — Pitikan Sithidej of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand was in Phuket yesterday (August 29) to chair a seminar held to explain to local businessmen the need to respect human rights in business operations.

The participants in the seminar, held at the Royal Phuket City Hotel in Phuket Town, included heads of local government agencies and senior executives from local businesses, including hotel operators.

Phuket Deputy Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabam told the gathering that it was an honor for Phuket that Ms. Pitikan had organized the implementation of the seminar titled “Business and Human Rights Promotion Seminar for Business Organizations in the Phuket Region”.

V/Gov Anupap opened by describing Phuket as a modern, world-class international tourist destination where East meets West with its own unique culture and distinctive architecture, particularly the examples of Sino-Portuguese architecture on the island.

“This will give tourists confidence in their safety and confidence in their decision to travel here,” he said.

“Therefore, all sectors need to help each other, because that is important to build trust with foreign tourists and investors. This will benefit the economy in the future and bring the tourism sector fully back to sustainability,” he added.

According to V/Gov Anupap, holding the seminar on upholding basic human rights will help to achieve all these tourism and economic goals.

In fact, holding the seminar on human rights will “drive Phuket’s tourism and service industries to recover as soon as possible as a destination of happiness to bring smiles back to Thai people,” he continued.

For National Human Rights Commissioner Pitikan, the goal of the seminar was that business organizations in Phuket should build a society of respect for human rights.

“The aim is to create knowledge, an understanding of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rightswhich is a responsible way of conducting business that respects internationally accepted human rights,” she said.

“Business organizations must protect all aspects of human rights and are responsible for protecting human rights through measures such as non-discrimination policies and health and safety, freedom of association and union formation,” added Ms. Pitikan.

“It also creates an opportunity to assess the situation through the analysis of corporate data, including building a network of business and human rights cooperation in the Phuket area. This will create the power to work effectively to promote and protect human rights in society,” she said.

“It is imperative to create knowledge and understanding for the government and corporate sectors in order to create a society where human rights are respected,” Ms. Pitikan noted.

It did not explain why Phuket was chosen as the focal point for a seminar aimed at educating local officials and businesspeople on basic human rights, even though the island’s fishing and construction industries are almost entirely dependent on migrant workers.

Notably, no wrongdoing has been found in random inspections of fishing vessels in the area for years, according to reports from the Royal Thai Navy.

Inspections of the working conditions of construction workers and the camps they live in are not made public by local officials.

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