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Environmental Report defenders under attack – The threats facing people who protect nature

Author: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), Published on: 12 November 2019

A new report released today by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) clearly demonstrates that people who protect the environment and human rights are increasingly being monitored, threatened, harassed – and even murdered. 

The civil society democratic space is shrinking. Since 2012 more than 70 countries have introduced legal restrictions aimed at citizens involved in civil society organisations. The situation has become increasingly dangerous for people fighting for democracy, environmental protection and human rights. People who defend nature are particularly vulnerable.

…The report presents the results of a comprehensive study carried out by the SSNC … based on testimonies given by 25 environmental organisations around the world with whom SSNC collaborate:

• 88 percent … state that the situation for civil society … has deteriorated in recent years.

• 80 percent state that they find it difficult to carry out their activities as planned...

• 24 percent state that employees or individuals from the organisation’s target groups have been killed as a result of their environmental work.

• 52 percent state that they can give examples of when they or their target groups have been harassed or threatened by private companies. 

• 68 percent perceive that decision-makers … regard the environmental movement as a threat.

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