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Author: Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Published on: 14 October 2015

“Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders”, 30 Jul 2015

The present report focuses on the regional consultations that the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders organized at the end of 2014 and in the first half of 2015 with a view to sharing with the Member States of the United Nations the principal observations and recommendations arising out of the discussions with the defenders, eliciting greater recognition of the role of defenders and affording them better protection against the attacks they face…One category of defenders regularly participating in regional consultations is the group promoting and defending rights relating to land, the environment and corporate responsibility...They spoke of the excessive use of force against demonstrators and activists working on corporate responsibility matters or labour rights.  They are the targets of actions taken by both State and non-State actors (enterprises, private groups guarding sites...)...The various kinds of violations and threats are encouraged by a weak institutional environment, in which States have failed to put in place any effective mechanism for penalizing human rights violations committed by enterprises.  Defenders also complain of the lack of transparency and accountability of enterprises, especially in extractive industries...

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