The core content of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

3.1 Action plan on labour

3.1.1 Overall situation [page 28]

The Office of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation has implemented a project to improve the well-being of informal workers and develop mental health promotion models to help “reduce suffering and create happiness” among labourers, both in the field of health training for informal labour leaders and creating incentives for informal workers to change health behaviours to increase happiness and reduce stress in their lives. After participating in various activities, it was found that informal labour leaders had an average happiness equal to 32.36 points, up from the original 30.28 points (27 to 32 points mean an average happy person) and the average stress is 4.14 points, down from the previous 5.08 points (0–4 points means less stress) which results in an increase in happiness levels and less stress levels.

3.1.2 Challenges

Challenges identified in this section come from the information gathered during regional consultations and discussions with various sectors continuously during 2016–2019. It has been found that there are still many challenges that people expect the government to accelerate in solving problems related to labour issues. These can be summarized as follows:

  • Elimination of employment discrimination and discrimination in workplace. Relevant laws should be reviewed and amended to protect and eliminate employment discrimination in all cases. The Gender Equality Act 2015, especially Section 17, should be reviewed whereas awareness of the Act as well as complaint mechanism under this Act should be raised among all sectors. Equal employment regardless of gender discrimination should be promoted. The following problems should be addressed, for example, termination of employment due to pregnancy, forced HIV testing before and during work, discrimination against employees with HIV in workplace … [page 30]
  • Access to healthcare for workers. Employers should oversee and provide medical treatment, and certify health insurance for workers as well as ensure the right to access to the universal healthcare coverage scheme for workers including migrant workers without discrimination. [Page 31]

 

3.1.3 Action Plan (2019–2022)

Pillar 1: State duties in protecting (Protect)

 

No.

 

Issues

 

Activities

Responsible agencies Time-frame (2019–2022) Indicators (wide frame) Compliance with National Strategy/ SDGs/UNGPs
6. Eliminating discrimination in employment and the workplace Develop measures to prevent and manage issues related to HIV/AIDS in the workplace by promoting the implementation of National

Guidelines on Prevention and Administration of HIV/AIDS

in the Workplace to be used as operational guidelines for HIV/AIDS in the workplace.

–   Ministry of Labour

–   Ministry of Public Health (Sub- committee on Promotion and Protection of the rights of HIV/AIDS)

2019–2022 Number of establishments/ businesses/ employees involved in promotion activities –   National Strategy for Social Cohesion and Just Society

–   SDG 3 and 8

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

8. Suitable working conditions Study international standards regarding appropriate work conditions (Decent Work

for All), including safety and occupational health, and use them as a baseline to create a suitable regulation or rule as an operating guidance for business

– Ministry of Labour 2019–2022 Number of studies –   National Strategy for Social Cohesion and Just Society

–   National Strategy for Public Sector Rebalancing and Development

–   SDG 8

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

9. Access to health services for workers Providing health services to workers including disease prevention and control, health promotion and medical treatment and rehabilitation –   Ministry of Labour

–   Ministry of Public Health

2019–2022 Number of insured persons receiving medical services –   National Strategy for Human Capital Development and Strengthening

–   SDG 3 and 8

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

    Develop friendly health service systems for migrant workers such as migrant public health volunteers to create effective access to public health – Ministry of Public Health 2019–2022 A mechanism to provide public health services for migrant workers –   National Strategy for Human Capital Development and Strengthening

–   National Strategy for Social Cohesion and Just Society

–   SDG 3, 8 and 10

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

    Driving forward the settlement and operation of Wellness Centers both in public health service points and establishments – Ministry of Public Health 2019–2022 Number of hospital and establishments that operate Wellness Centers in line with criteria set by the Department of Disease Control –   National Strategy for Human Capital Development and Strengthening

–   SDG 3 and 8

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

 

Pillar 2: Responsibilities of the business sector in respecting of human rights

2.1    Elimination of discrimination in the workplace

  • State enterprises and the business sector must not consider not employing or terminating employment due to HIV infection.

 

3.2       Action plan for community, land, natural resources and the environment

3.2.1      Overview of the situation [page 62]

… in determining the process of participation of the community and the public, Section 58 under the section of the State duty, stipulates that individuals and communities have the right to receive information, explanations and reasons from government agencies before allowing anybody to do what may affect resources, quality of life, health, sanitation, quality of life or any issue seriously affecting people or communities. The government must conduct studies and assess the impact on the quality of the environment and health of people or communities, and arrange for public hearings in which people and communities are involved.

However, the fast development of industrialized areas of the country and the use of modern technology for development results in affecting more parts of nature, and at the same time it also results in negatively affecting others in various fields, including the impact on natural resources and their depletion, natural disasters that occur frequently and more violently than in the past, and direct negative health effects from using technology such as pesticides in new farming practices and indirectly due to the quality of natural resources depletion in various fields such as land, water and air. Therefore, it is a challenge that the government has duties and responsibilities to supervise an appropriate development level for the country to create a balance between the use of natural resources at the appropriate levels and guidelines to drive the growth of the country, together with the conservation of natural resources for the highest benefit as well as sustainability of the country in every dimension.

For the mining project, details of improvement of the environmental and social impact assessment system are as follows:

(1)         Minerals Act B.E. 2560 (2017) and related subordinate legislation divided mining into three types according to the size of the area, types of minerals, geological characteristics of the mineral resources, mining methods and impacts on the quality of environment and public health that may arise from mining. [65]

(3)         In addition, the Mineral Act B.E. 2560 (2017) and the relevant subordinate legislation require the preparation of basic information on the environment and public health and creating a barrier area in the case that the mine may result in causing highly adverse impacts to the quality of environment and public health.

(4)         At present, every step of the environmental and social impact assessment of the mining project considers the importance of three types of impacts from large-scale projects: (1) The impact of environmental pollution on health; (2) Forcing communities to relocate without compensation or insufficient plans; and (3) Lack of public consultation or inadequate studies with communities that are affected by the development of large-scale projects.