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Safe and enabling operating environment is important for both human rights defenders and businesses, says ISHR's director

"Business and human rights defenders: A safe and enabling operating environment for all", 10 Dec 2015

…Both corporations and human rights defenders have a shared interest in an environment which respects the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and is characterised by transparent and accountable government, freedom from corruption, and respect for the rule of law. [T]he operating environment for defenders is becoming increasingly restrictive and dangerous in many countries in which corporations… increasingly operate and invest. [T]here is a spectrum of actions for companies to take...The first is the legal obligation of business, recognised in the Guiding Principles and derived from international law…to respect human rights defenders… The second category of actions arise from the legal obligation…to engage with and consult defenders and the communities…in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects and in due diligence and human rights impact assessment processes. This is also…good business practice… The third category of actions…involves corporations partnering with and supporting defenders… The fourth…category of actions…involves business actively advocating and seeking remedy for human rights defenders and against laws and policies which restrict them.…