The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. To implement the Guiding Principles, governments of countries worldwide have drafted and launched their own national action plans on business and human rights (NAP), which consist of policy documents aimed at protecting human rights and ensuring that companies fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights. Although many European countries had already published their NAPs, no Asian country had until Thailand drafted and launched its NAP in October 2019. This article discusses the background and process behind the drafting of Thailand’s NAP, investigates the reason why Thailand became the first country in Asia to do so, and discusses the significant features of the NAP and the policy measures it contains. During its military-led administration, which was criticized in a Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council, Thailand took the development of its NAP as an opportunity to respond to demand from the EU market. Further, Thailand utilized the process of making its NAP to display its leadership among ASEAN member states. Thailand’s NAP directly addresses the issues for which Thailand has been criticized. Its uniqueness as an investment-hosting state is reflected in its policy measures on cross-border investment and multinational enterprises.
In this paper, we take the unification of agricultural minimum wages in 2003 as a natural experiment involving exogenous change in the minimum wage level and examine the Census of Commercial Agriculture to empirically investigate producer responses at the district-product group level. Results from a first-difference estimator suggest that an increase in the minimum wage reduced both profits and low-wage employment in some product groups, and these changes were masked at a more aggregate level. We also observed an increase in the unit output value in some product groups. These findings are consistent with the existing literature showing that negative employment impacts are observed when minimum-wage jobs are dominant and that increasing the minimum wage leads to mechanization of tasks and upgraded skill contents of labor. As a policy response, job training and internships prior to increasing the minimum wage should help reduce the costs of job search as well as those of hiring. Future agricultural minimum wage research should consider heterogenous production technologies and associated impacts.