Latest news: CEO activism and other positive business initiatives to protect civic freedoms

The main elements of a safe and enabling environment for civil society organizations (CSOs) and human rights defenders (HRDs) are the respect for basic freedoms, strong compliance with the rule of law, removal of all obstacles for registration and operation, end to all forms of impunity, and free access to remedy and redress mechanisms. All these are the same elements that are conducive for healthy environments in which to conduct business and investments. The fates of CSOs, HRDs, and companies are closely intertwined.

Human rights, labour rights and environmental defenders, journalists, lawyers, and anti-corruption campaigners are key agents of change, and they contribute greatly to safeguarding human rights and the rule of law. As such, both companies and defenders have a shared interest in the full respect of freedoms of expression, association and assembly, characterised by non-discrimination, transparent and accountable government, and freedom from corruption.

However, the operating context for CSOs and HRDs has become, and continues to become increasingly restrictive and dangerous in many countries. These countries include those in which companies operate and invest. More and more companies understand that they can have a powerful voice in the protection of civic freedoms, especially where abuses are taking place linked to their industry and/or operations. Below are some of these recent examples of emerging good practices and drivers of such actions.

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5 July 2019

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1 July 2019

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1 July 2019
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26 June 2019

USA: Wayfair workers to walk out to protest management decision to supply detention centre; CEO rejects their plea

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"3 Reasons To Sell Wayfair On Today's Employee Walkout", 26 Jun 2019...

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18 June 2019

Canada: Govt. publishes updated guidelines on supporting defenders & emphasises role of business

On the occasion of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s visit to Canada, the Government of Canada released an updated version of the guidance on supporting human rights defenders for the staff of Canadian missions...

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18 June 2019

Canada: Updated guidelines on supporting defenders strongly reference defenders working on business issues

Author: Government of Canada

"Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders", 17 Jun 2019...

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10 June 2019

Leading global business association amfori releases statement in support of human rights defenders

Author: amfori - Trade with purpose (Belgium)

"Statement in Support of Human Rights Defenders", Jun 2019...

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7 June 2019
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La empresa Phillip Morris, que compró las plantas de la Compañía Colombiana de Tabaco, Coltabaco en 2005, anunció que, por un lado, dejará de comprar tabaco a los productores agrícolas a partir de 2020 y por otro, el cierre de las fábricas en Medellín...

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16 May 2019
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Tras reiteradas amenazas de muerte, hostigamientos y persecución contra líderes de organizaciones de mujeres, sindicatos y grupos sociales que trabajan por los derechos humanos de la población en los departamentos de La Guajira y el Cesar, lugares...

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14 May 2019

Members of Dutch agreement on sustainable garments and textile sign letter to Cambodian govt. to express concerns on labour & human rights situation in textile industry

Author: Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (The Netherlands)

"Clothing brands sign letter to Cambodia government after concerning developments", 06 May 2019...

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