Business, HRDs & Civic freedoms: Analysis & infographics
Since 2015, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has been collecting data on attacks on human rights defenders, focusing on business sectors and specific businesses. Our infographics and briefings show patterns of violence, identify at-risk business sectors and geographic areas, provide guidance for business & investors as well as in-depth analysis of some specific types of attacks, such as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs).
Briefings & reports
In the line of fire: Increased legal protection needed as attacks against business & human rights defenders mount in 2020
Our annual briefing on the situation of HRDs, demonstrates an increase in attacks against HRDs during 2020 demands a legal solution. Mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence in the EU is a key opportunity to ensure that European companies respect human rights and prevent attacks on HRDs throughout their operations, supply chains, and investments.
SLAPPed but not silenced: Defending human rights in the face of legal risks
Between January 2015 - May 2021, we recorded more than 3,100 attacks worldwide against human rights defenders who have raised the alarm about irresponsible business practices. More than 40% of these attacks were forms of judicial harassment; strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are one of these tactics. This first-ever global analysis of lawsuits which bear the hallmarks of SLAPPs brought or initiated by business actors reveals this tactic is used in every region of the world to intimidate people into silence.
A Crucial Gap: The Limits to Official Data on Attacks Against Defenders and Why It's Concerning
Indicator 16.10.1, which records killings and attacks on HRDs, including journalists and trade unionists, is the primary indicator of global enjoyment of fundamental freedoms in the SDG framework. Official data on killings, however, remain extremely limited, while even less data is available on the physical and death threats that often precede lethal attacks. A Crucial Gap documents the state of reporting of attacks on HRDs, and examines potential pathways towards building a better dataset that could inform better, evidence-based policies and protection mechanisms.
- June 2021 - Africa Quarterly Update: Human Rights Defenders in Africa, threats, challenges and how to support them
Safeguarding human rights defenders: Practical Guidance for Investors
Institutional investors can be connected to harmful impacts on defenders through their investments in companies that cause, contribute to, or are directly linked to actions that undermine the rights of defenders. This publication provides institutional investors with practical guidance on how to prevent, mitigate, and address negative impacts on defenders in investment portfolios.
Strategic lawsuits against public participation: Southeast Asia cases & recommendations for governments, business & civil society
Except for the Philippines, Southeast Asian countries have no laws defining SLAPPs but all countries, except for Brunei, protect the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly in their constitutions. This Briefing Note focuses on SLAPPs in Southeast Asia and aims to amplify legal arguments and court decisions that have successfully upheld the freedoms of expression, association, and/or peaceful assembly of HRD.
Shared space under pressure: Business support for civic freedoms & Human Rights Defenders
Drawing on over 90 interviews, this guidance urges companies to engage and to act—carefully but deliberately—in their own interests and in the mutual interest that they share with civil society in support of civic freedoms and defenders. It sets forth both the normative responsibility, the business case and the moral choice that companies should consider, and proposes a decision framework to guide companies as they decide whether and if so how to act.