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Canadian govt. releases guidance for private sector support for human rights defenders & civic freedoms

Author: Global Affairs Canada, Published on: 18 March 2019

"CSR Snapshot #7 – Private Sector Support for Human Rights Defenders: A Primer for Canadian Businesses", 04 Mar 2019

Human rights defenders are increasingly the target of threats and intimidation (including through lawsuits), attacks and killings, a subject of growing concern atthe international level. Environmental advocates, land defenders, and women, LGBTQ and Indigenous human rights defenders have been identified as particularly at risk. Since 2015, over 1400 cases of attacks have been reported worldwide that were directly or indirectly related to private sector activities... The Government of Canada recognizes the key role played by businesses in... strengthening the rule of law, and expects Canadian companies operating abroad to align their practices with internationally recognized responsible business conduct standards, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...[T]here is increasing recognition of the strong business case for supporting defenders... [C]ompanies and investors as diverse as ABN AMROAirbnbAdidasAngloAmericanAppleBarrick GoldBMWCiscoDaimler,  DominiGoldcorpInternational Finance CorporationLeber JewelerMicrosoftNikePrimarkTahoe Resources, and Unilever have all...publicly expressed support for defenders [and] encouraged protection of civic freedoms...[S]takeholder organizations that have engaged...include the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Global Network Initiative (GNI), the International Council of Mines and Minerals (ICMM), the Investor Alliance for Human Rights (IAHR), and the Social Accountability Initiative (SAI)...

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Related companies: ABN Amro adidas Airbnb Anglo American Apple Associated British Foods Barrick Gold BMW Cisco Systems Daimler AG FIFA Goldcorp (now Newmont) Leber Jeweler Microsoft Nike Primark (part of Associated British Foods) Tahoe Resources (part of Pan American Silver) Unilever