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Ecuador: European cos. publicly support defender Jorge Acosta & call on govt. to protect defenders
Author: Axfood, Coop, Everfresh, Greenfood, Martin & Servera and Menigo, Published on: 11 June 2019
"Letter in support of Jorge Acosta", 11 Jun 2019
To the Government of Ecuador, The undersigned companies, Axfood, Coop, Everfresh, Greenfood, Martin & Servera and Menigo, source from the banana sector in Ecuador... As leading food companies in the European market we are aware that the agriculture sector is one of the most dangerous sectors for human rights defenders globally, with an increase in threats and attacks during recent years... We are currently gravely concerned about the situation of Ecuadorian human rights defender and trade union leader Jorge Acosta, who we understand risks prosecution for “creating economic panic”... As companies that are dependent on global supply chains we are committed to respecting human rights in all parts of our operations. We rely on human rights defenders, such as Jorge Acosta, to be able to speak freely, and without fear of retaliation or reprisal, about challenges in the supply chains. Such information, in addition to information by other sources, is crucial for us to continue improving the performance of our sector, in close cooperation with our suppliers... [W]e call upon the Ecuadorian government to guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in line with the ILO Core Conventions ratified by Ecuador, and to provide full protection of all human rights defenders...