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16 Jul 2019

Government of the United Kingdom

UK: Govt. releases guidelines on human rights defenders & outlines support to defenders working on business and human rights

"UK Support for Human Rights Defenders", 15 Jul 2019

The UK supports the right of Human Rights Defenders to carry out their activities, and continue with their professions (for example lawyers, journalists) and voice their opinions... Human Rights Defenders play an essential role in promoting and protecting democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law... Human Rights Defenders are important to the UK because:... They play a role in ensuring responsible action by the private sector on human rights which is good for business and communities.... Human Rights Defenders at particular risk [are:] Human Rights Defenders working on land and environmental issues are more at risk of attacks, particularly where private companies, sometimes in collaboration with state representatives, wish to hide activities that are illegal or abuse people’s rights,... Human Rights Defenders from indigenous communities are often at risk of discriminatory attacks, including attacks on their communities and ancestral lands,...Human Rights Defenders working on business and human rights risk being targeted by both employers and governments seeking to prevent abuses from being exposed. The UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights includes specific commitments to protect Human Rights Defenders who are active on business and human rights related issues...