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15 Dec 2015

Civil Rights Defenders, Front Line Defenders, Institute for Human Rights and Business

Paper: "Human Rights Defenders and Business - Searching for Common Ground"

"Occasional Paper: Human Rights Defenders and Business - Searching for Common Ground", 9 Dec 2015

This Paper is published to mark the 20th  anniversary of the execution of nine Ogoni activists by the Nigerian Government in 1995...The Paper is divided in two parts...The first part has four essays, which detail the history of the Ogoni crisis, how it shaped the  modern discourse on human rights and  business, and outlines the cases in this Paper. It also shows the shrinking space for civil society worldwide. The second essay outlines the features of the Declaration for Human Rights Defenders and its implications for the state and business. The third essay shows the growing trend worldwide to crackdown on civil society. The fourth essay makes the case for human rights defenders and why business should work with, rather than against, human rights defenders. The second part has eleven cases drawn from all parts of the world, which show instances where journalists, activists, environmentalists, and trade union leaders have challenged business conduct or government policies that have undermined human rights,  and the range of responses that have followed. The conclusion offers recommendations to business on how they can operate in ways that do not undermine the freedoms of human rights defenders.