Intl. Work Group for Indigenous Affairs' report summarizes recommendations from intl. conference, incl. on private sector

Author: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (Denmark), Published on: 17 October 2018

"Outcome document: Defending the defenders", Oct 2018

Recent reports by UN experts and human rights organizations document an alarming increase in violent attacks against and criminalization of indigenous peoples defending their rights to their traditional lands and natural resources, particularly in the context of large-scale development projects. Intensifying global competition over natural resources increasingly makes indigenous communities taking action to protect their traditional lands and territories targets of persecution by State and non-State actors... Especially in Latin America, Africa and Asia, Indigenous leaders and community members voicing opposition...are often subjected to criminalization, harassment, threats, violent attacks and killings. A report on... defenders killed worldwide in 2017, which documents murders of 312... defenders in 27 countries, shows that 67 % of the persons killed were engaged in the defence of land, environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights and nearly always in the context of mega projects, extractive industry and big business. The risks faced by indigenous...defenders are exacerbated by the widespread impunity...  [Outcome document emphasised that] “[t]he private sector is one of the drivers of criminalization of indigenous human rights defenders. We need to make the private sector more accountable and make companies adhere to their obligations and responsibilities", [as stated by] Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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