Asia: COVID-19 pandemic must not serve as an excuse to vilify defenders who champion rights-based approaches in business practices

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre & Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Published on: 8 June 2020

"COVID-19: Protection of human rights defenders must no longer be ignored" 05 Jun 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic must not serve as an excuse to vilify...defenders who champion rights-based approaches in business practices. Asian civil society and defenders met yesterday warning that opportunistic governments in Asia are expanding their power under the guise of COVID-19 to protect businesses [whose] activities have led to environmental, human rights abuses and attacks on activists. These were key discussion points at a webinar organised by FORUM-ASIA...and the [BHRRC]... and followed by almost 2,000 participants. The webinar...brought together thought leaders from business, defenders, civil society, academia, and government. ‘In just three months, FORUM-ASIA has recorded over 50 cases of violations involving nearly 150...defenders... 14 Asian countries,’ said Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, FORUM-ASIA Executive Director... Mary Lawlor, the [UN] Special Rapporteur on the situation of [HRDs] said... ‘Business and human rights intersect with many priorities of my mandate'... The current pandemic is also a critical time to test the effectiveness of... Thailand’s [NAP]. ‘The action plan recognises... defenders and sets expectations for businesses to respect fundamental rights,’ said Nareeluc Pairchaiyapoom... of... Thai Ministry of Justice...  William Anderson...of adidas emphasised the need for businesses,... defenders, and civil society to work together and support each other to overcome civic space challenges. ‘Now more than ever, social dialogue matters and it is incumbent on all stakeholders...,’ he said... 

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Related companies: adidas