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Database: 2020 Snapshot - Attacks against human rights defenders linked to business activities are rising

This snapshot covers the annual findings from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre database of attacks against human rights defenders which  includes over 2000 cases of judicial, physical and lethal attacks, highlights some of the key positive steps that companies and investors have recently taken to address these attacks and reprisals, and summarizes the recommendations to these actors.

CREDIT_Chris Stowers_TITLE_A member of W

Outcome document: Defending the defenders

Human rights defenders are dying, attacked and criminalized all over the world. This is happening at an increasingly alarming rate. In 2017, over 400 people were killed while protecting their community’s land or natural resources. Approximately half of these were indigenous peoples. The conference aimed to understand why in particular and increasingly indigenous peoples from developing countries are being killed or persecuted. The conference examined the key drivers behind this global phenomenon and discussed context-specific cases, and what can be done to change the current situation. 

Read the conference report from IWGIA

CREDIT_Natalie Behring_TITLE_A man walks

Report and briefing: Enough! Pledging zero tolerance to attacks against environmental and human rights defenders

Environmental and human rights defenders face significant — and growing — risks, experiencing violence, intimidation and criminalisation as a result of their efforts. This research critically assesses the various initiatives, led by states, intergovernmental bodies, the private sector and development finance institutions that seek to protect environmental and human rights defenders. It highlights the limitations of these initiatives, and argues that the knowledge, experiences and priorities of the defenders themselves have not been adequately included in the design of protection mechanisms and approaches.

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Open letter: Human Rights Defenders are a cornerstone of sustainable development

Human Rights Defenders face greater risk of retaliation and violence than ever before, especially those working in defence of land, environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights. While development interventions can be a powerful tool for the realisation of human rights, too often activities undertaken in the name of development fail to adequately consider human rights conditions and impacts, and end up exacerbating the risks for defenders.

Read the article from Forest Peoples Programme


Report: Uncalculated Risks - Threats and attacks against human rights defenders and the role of development financiers

Through 25 case studies, Uncalculated Risks explores the nature of the threats and attacks against defenders in development, and examines the role of development finance institutions in mitigating or exacerbating these risks.

Read the research from the Coalition for Human Rights in Development