Brazil: Civil society calls on UN Working Group on business & human rights to listen to victims & affected groups during its visit to the country

Brazil River Doce with mud_Secom Espirito Santo_http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/geral/foto/2015-11/situacao-de-emergencia-na-regiao-do-rio-doce?id=985337

Brazilian organizations, social movements and networks are sending a letter to the UN Working Group on business and human rights with suggestions for the upcoming visit of the group to Brazil from 7-16 December 2015.

These organizations actively follow  up on “systematic human rights violations involving Brazilian and foreign companies operating in Brazil and other countries”. The organizations insist that the Working Group give priority to listening to victims and affected populations. The organizations invite others to sign the letter by contacting Beatriz Bellintani <[email protected]> .

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Article
1 December 2015

Brazil: Civil society calls on UN Working Group on business & human rights to listen to victims & affected groups during its visit to the country

Author: Amigos da Terra Brasil, Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS, Conectas Direitos Humanos, Justiça Global, Fórum da Amazônia Oriental and others

…Dear Members of the Working Group,…[t]he Brazilian organizations, social movements and networks signatories of this letter have actively followed the systematic human rights violations involving Brazilian and foreign companies operating in Brazil and other countries. We consider that the Working Group’s visit to our country takes place at a crucial moment…:...Just over two months ago, Guarani-Kaiowa indigenous communities in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul were attacked by gunmen linked to ranchers who occupied land demarcated for the Guarani-Kaiowa. One of the indigenous leaders was murdered. This highlighted the vulnerability of these peoples in the face of systematic attacks by actors within the agribusiness’ supply chain…The unprecedented socio-environmental disaster caused by the burst of a tailings dam belonging to the mining company Samarco in the state of Minas Gerais…I. Criteria for Visit: Respect towards Victims…This visit should prioritize the perspective of victims and affected populations…II. Mandatory Responsibility to Fulfill Rights: The Need for a Treaty…III. Agenda Proposal…[M]eetings with victims should be the priority and at the very least there should be one broader participatory meeting with organizations…III. a. THEMATIC PRIORITIES:…1) human rights violations around large-scale mining 2) human rights violations around hydroelectric dams/large infrastructure projects 3) lack of protection for human rights defenders III.b. CASES AND PRIORITY TOPICS 1. Mariana (state of Minas Gerais)…2. Altamira (state of Pará)…3. Rio de Janeiro (state of Rio de Janeiro)…4. Mato Grosso do Sul – Situation of the Indigenous Guarani-Kaiowá…5. Brasília (Federal District)…IV. Documentation – Additional Information…[W]e will send you documentation compiled from our work following these processes over many years…[It refers to Delta and Thyssen Krupp Companhia Siderúrgica do Atlântico]

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