Andy Hall could face 7 years in prison for talking about modern slavery.
Andy Hall is a British campaigner with a special focus on the rights of migrant workers. Two years ago, on behalf of Finnwatch, he undertook an investigation into Natural Fruit, part of NatGroup, a Thai company that processes pineapples and supplies retailers around the world. Finnwatch’s final report paints a picture suggesting modern slavery:
“…passports and work permits confiscated; compulsory and excessive overtime; fines and unclear deductions from wages; debt bondage and violence by guards and superiors.”1
Instead of focusing on addressing these serious allegations, Natural Fruit decided to try and silence Andy with lawsuits. They have pursued civil and criminal charges and now Andy could face a prison sentence and $10 million in legal damages for his investigations.
Now is a crucial time in Andy’s prosecution. Although Natural Fruit’s behaviour is deeply disturbing it proves that the company cares about its public image. By coming together over the next few days, with activists all around the world that are standing in solidarity with Andy, we can show Natural Fruit’s senior management what we think about these excessive and intimidating charges.
If this case proceeds and Natural Fruit are successful this would not only be a grave miscarriage of justice for Andy. This process could set a dangerous precedent for other companies in Thailand that might take a similar approach when allegations are raised of modern slavery in their supply chains. This threatens the work of anti-slavery campaigners but also workers in Thailand who might be too afraid to come forward and report abuse.
Demand justice for Andy and workers vulnerable to exploitation and modern slavery in Thailand here.