Cambodians face sugar giant in Thai court

Despite being forced from her home in Cambodia without compensation and giving birth while imprisoned for speaking out, Hoy Mai believes she will finally receive justice after more than a decade when she appears in a civil court in Thailand.

Mai is expected to testify as a lead plaintiff in Southeast Asia’s first transboundary class action lawsuit as the case heads to trial in the coming months. The complaint brought by 712 Cambodians from northwest Oddar Meanchey province claims they were forcibly evicted by subsidiaries of Thai-based Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation between 2008 and 2009. 

As Thai companies invest across Southeast Asia, the country’s courts have accepted a handful of extraterritorial human rights lawsuits in the past 10 years attempting to hold corporations responsible for alleged abuses abroad.

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