Andy Hall is a prominent human rights defender and a migrant worker rights specialist who was educated in Australia and the UK. He resided in Thailand and Myanmar from June 2005 until November 2016, when he left due to threats to his liberty and well-being.
From 2013-2014, Andy was an advisor to the Myanmar government on migration. In June 2014, his passport was confiscated by Prakanong Court and he was only allowed to leave Thailand with permission from the courts, resulting in his work in Myanmar coming to an end. In January 2016, he was indicted again and his passport was taken from him. Andy was convicted of computer crimes and criminal defamation charges in September 2016 and his passport was returned to him; he left Thailand that same month. All criminal and civil prosecutions that Natural Fruit Company Ltd. filed against him have since been dismissed or overturned by the Thailand Supreme Court.
Andy has since lived in Plum Village Temple in France from November 2016 to March 2017 and from June 2017 to September 2017. He then moved to Brussels in January 2018 and became a resident in Kathmandu, Nepal. Currently, Andy has moved back to Thailand anf continues to fight for the rights of migrant workers across Asia.
The lawsuits against him were seen by many human rights organizations as groundless and part of wider restrictions on freedom of speech and oppression of human rights defenders in Thailand. They arose after Andy conducted field research in a pineapple concentrate factory in Thailand for the Finnish NGO Finnwatch. Andy interviewed workers, some of whom were undocumented migrants, and who reported poor working conditions, unlawfully low wages, confiscation of official documents, use of child labor, and excessive overtime. Although Andy was not the author of the report, he was the researcher.
This blog was originally created to follow the criminal and civil cases Natural Fruit Company Ltd. filed against Andy Hall after executing field research in the company’s pineapple concentrate factory in Thailand. However, now the blog represents up-to-date information on migrant worker rights issues across Asia and the valuable work Andy and his team are working on to promote universal human rights.