Front Line Defenders' new report says majority of human rights defenders killings in 2017 were related to mega projects in extractive industry

Author: Created by HRD Memorial Network and Edited by Frontline Defenders, Published on: 20 June 2018

"Stop the Killings", 20th June 2018

Since the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders was adopted, there has been an... increased recognition of the vital role played by human rights defenders (HRDs) in protecting the rights of their communities and peoples, challenging oppression... [B]acklash against HRDs has included restrictive legislation, efforts to block funding, the prosecution of fabricated charges and sophisticated defamation campaigns. However, the use of lethal violence to silence those who defend the rights of the most vulnerable has become widespread and is endemic in a number of countries...  An analysis of the work done by those killed is instructive: of those killed in 2017, 67% were engaged in the defence of land, environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights and nearly always in the context of mega projects linked to extractive industries and big business...  For the most part, international investors and.. companies... still do not regard local community leaders and HRDs as key actors... This... increases... risk of confrontation... and denies companies early warning signals when conflict in local areas does emerge.  This report focuses on the situation in just six countries: Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines because, between them, they accounted for 85% of the killings of HRDs in 2017.  

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