Chonticha Tangworamongkon

ROLE: Program Director with the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) 
ACTIVE IN COUNTRY: Thailand
DTP Program: 26th Annual Program, Timor-Leste, 2016

 

"Knowledge about the UN system and how advocates can use UN mechanisms to protect human rights is what was most useful to me as I had scarce knowledge before the training."

The Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) campaigns and advocates for human rights in Thailand - including the legal rights of migrant workers, including through strategic litigation to instigate systemic change.

Chon works with communities of migrant workers and families from Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR to increase their access to justice systems through the provision of legal aid and strategic litigation. Migrant workers are employed in many Thai industries - including fishing, construction and manufacturing. Abuses, including modern day slavery, have been documented by the UN and international NGOs and have attracted international condemnation.

More recently, HRDF have been using guidelines and standards on Business and Human Rights to encourage and persuade international companies to clean-up their supply chain, to make sure they are not using or benefitting from forced labour etc.

Chon works on the ground, directly assisting migrant workers to exercise and claim their rights - to payment, and to safe and decent working conditions. Litigation is one strategy. Chon assists with documenting cases, helping with interpretation and to engage with government authorities. Chon and HRDF have successfully helped workers access worker compensation and claim back wages with minimum wage rates.

Chon has used her knowledge of the UN system and its mechanisms in her advocacy work to protect human rights.

"I have met with several UN representatives who came to Thailand to meet with stakeholders including activists working on migrant worker issues in the context of business and human rights. With the knowledge from the training, I appreciated the importance of these meetings and how these could possibly enhance our advocacy work."

Participation in the DTP course has also helped build useful networks for Chon and HRDF - including in Nepal - one of the source countries for migrant workers in Thailand:

"We have worked together subsequently on cases and issues through Migrant Forum in Asia of which our organizations are a member."

 

 

Profile written August 2019.