HRDF (Human Rights and Development Foundation), Letter to organizations and media

Re: Burmese Migrant Workers Administrative Court Challenge Against Social Security Office
To: Media, Labour and Civil Society Networks

The Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) invites you to join with us to support the submission by three Shan migrant workers of an Administrative Court petition requesting the revocation of the Social Security Office’s (SSO) existing policy denying migrant workers access to the Workmen’s Compensation Fund (WCF). This case submission will take place at 9am 11th April 2008 at the Chiangmai Administrative
Court (22 Chiangmai-Lampang Road, Tambon Chang Phuaek, Ampur Muang, Chiangmai Province).
HRDF continues to provide support to a disabled Shan workplace accident victim, Nang Noom Mae Seng, in her ongoing compensation claims arising as a result of her work-related accident at the Shangri-la Hotel construction site on 4th December 2006. Due to the extensive publicity surrounding Nang Noom’s case and the particularly large nature of the companies involved, her employers eventually paid Nang Noom’s first compensation claim as a lump sum back in November 2007. However, HRDF are acutely aware that for future migrant work-related accident and disease victims, compensation is not so easily attainable.
In January of this year, the WCF Appeals Committee rejected Nang Noom’s appeal against the SSO’s decisions in her case in which she demanded disability compensation directly from the WCF as opposed to from her employer.
HRDF therefore advised Nang Noom to pursue the SSO through Thailand’s justice system with the intention of setting a precedent for future transparent, formal and just access by migrant workers to the WCF if they are unfortunate enough to suffer workplace accidents or diseases. For this Administrative Court petition, two Shan construction workers will join Nang Noom and together make up the three complainants.
HRDF believes that labour rights in Thailand must apply equally to Thai and non-Thai workers and therefore we wholly support this migrant worker petition to the Administrative Court of Thailand. It is our hope that yourself and/or members of your organisation may also be able to come to provide support to the three complainants in this court submission. We would also request that you kindly assist us to circulate this letter and all case information
and press releases that will be circulated by HRDF to all interested parties, networks and media contacts.
Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Somchai Homlaor
Secretary General: Human Rights and Development Foundation
Making Migrant Safety at Work Matter Project Coordinator
Phone/Fax: 053 329269
Mobile: 0846 119209