UNDP and the Government of Japan partner to advance business and human rights

May 10, 2022

Bangkok, 12 May 2022. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Japan-funded Business and Human Rights Global Project to promote business and human rights in 17 countries, including Thailand, and better equip governments and companies in taking responsibility for preventing abuses such as forced labor, land grabbing and discrimination. Leading Thai and Japanese corporate executives and embassy officials attended the hybrid launch event which took place in Bangkok.

A “just recovery” from Covid-19 that promotes and respects human rights will require concerted and urgent action from governments and businesses, essential for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Agenda 2030 and meeting the Climate action targets set by the Paris Agreement. This requires businesses to take responsibility in driving economic development while ensuring sustainable practices to minimize adverse impact on society and the environment by respecting human rights.

The new project will be implemented over a one-year period, from March 2022 to March 2023, aligning with the Thai government’s commitment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the implementation of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. In Thailand, the project will strengthen understanding of business and human rights principles by authorities, businesses, and suppliers, with a focus on human rights due diligence processes and on reducing human rights abuses along supply chains.

“We welcome and are grateful to the support from the Japanese Government to further expand our work on business and human rights in Thailand. This new project reinforces the efforts of Thailand to align business practices with human rights principles and ensures that not only Thai companies but also foreign companies operating in Thailand respect the rights of workers and the protection of nature. As we move away from the COVID-19 epidemic, this is critical to accelerate a sustainable economic recovery and refocus on long term efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” said Renaud Meyer, UNDP Representative in Thailand.

Working closely with the Embassy of Japan, the Japan External Trade Organization, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, UNDP will introduce the Guiding Principles on business and human rights to Japanese companies which operate in Thailand and invite them to align their business operations with them. Trainings on human rights due diligence will be conducted for Japanese companies and their suppliers to strengthen capacities to assess, prevent and mitigate potential adverse human rights impacts by their operations.

The Japanese government has demonstrated a firm commitment to the UNGPs through the adoption of the Japanese National Action Plan (NAP) on Business and Human Rights adopted in October 2020, less than one year after Thailand approved its own NAP. This commitment will reinforce the reputation and performance of Japanese companies both in Japan and in countries where they operate, such as Thailand.

“By supporting this project, the Government of Japan aims to provide a better environment for governments and businesses so that they can better understand and act on their obligations and responsibilities to prevent human rights risks. I do hope that this project will strengthen understanding of business and human rights principles by authorities, businesses, and suppliers, with a focus on human rights due diligence processes. This project is also expected to benefit Japanese companies actively doing business in Thailand and help maintain their international competitiveness and promote fair socioeconomic recovery in the post-COVID 19 era.” said Yuichi Oba, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Thailand.

The Japanese Government support’s to this global project complements the funding provided to UNDP by the European Union and the Government of Sweden to promote the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights among governments and businesses in countries around the world.

Read press release in Thai here.


About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at www.th.undp.org or follow us at @UNDPThailand.



UNDP Thailand:

Tarinee Suravoranon, Project Manager for Business and Human Rights, Tarinee.suravoranon@undp.org

Embassy of Japan:

Mr. Fumihiko Goto, Counsellor & Deputy Permanent, Representative of Japan to ESCAP