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Defenders at risk: Attacks on human rights and environmental defenders and the responsibility of business

Companies can be linked to attacks against defenders through suppliers, customers or other business partners. Both states and business actors are vital in addressing this risk and in moving towards a systematic protection of, and respect for, defenders as a cornerstone of any democratic society... Defenders around the world pay a high price when this responsibility is not adequately recognised. Since 2015, more than 2,000 business-related legal and physical attacks have been reported... [Defenders'] testimonies provide evidence of grave and systematic oppression of critical voices and point to common ways in which companies put defenders in danger: By contributing to existing tensions and exacerbating local conflict dynamics; [b]y cooperating with state-owned companies or state-prioritised projects in countries where governments target defenders, and [b]y offering resources or technology that can be used against defenders. [Refers to adidas, Anglo American, ArcelorMittal, C&A, Deutsche Telekom, Enel, Ericsson, Glencore, H&M, Inditex, Lidl, New Wave Group, Next, Rio Tinto, S-Group, Siemens, Tele 2, Telenor, Telia, Tesco, Vattenfall, Vestas Wind Systems].