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20 Jan 2016

Front Line Defenders

Report highlights main trends in repression of human rights defenders in 2015

“Stop the killing of human rights defenders”, 1 Jan 2016

…Human rights defenders (HRDs) face increasingly restrictive and punitive environments in every region…Extreme violence is being used more frequently…while judicial harassment has become normalised in many parts of the world…In a range of countries where political leaders are seeking to cling to power, human rights defenders who have spoken out have been targeted…Front Line Defenders estimates that 156 HRDs were killed or died in detention in 25 counties in the first eleven months of 2015…Overall, 45% of the killings were linked to the defence of environmental, land and indigenous peoples’ rights…The surge in the adoption of restrictive legislation continued, going beyond restriction on funding to include new efforts to use the law to break contacts between HRDs and their international partners and supporters…While a lot has changed in relation to the discourse on business and human rights, the international community remains very far from having effective mechanisms to hold companies to account.  In a welcome recognition of how HRDs are affected when working on issues around business, a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly…referred explicitly to the responsibility of business towards HRDs, and called on businesses to engage in meaningful consultations with them…