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17 Dec 2018

Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders (Switzerland)

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders' global survey highlights role of cos. in attacks in several countries

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"World report on the situation of human rights defenders", 17 Dec 2017

The World Report is the first global survey of the situation of human rights defenders since the landmark Global Survey conducted in 2006 by the then UN Special Representative... While there are examples of supportive and collaborative relationships between human rights defenders and business, there are also concerns about the negative impact of business interests and practices on human rights defenders... [In] Nigeria,Cybercrime Act, 2015, contains overly broad and vaguely worded provisions,...[which] have been used to...target bloggers critical of the Government and powerful business owners... In El Salvador...street gangs mean that [it] has one of the highest murder rates in the world... The threats to defenders come from public officials and also businesses... [In Honduras] [t]he Special Rapporteur was worried by the strong presence of the army and the military police in the country and the evidence of the collusion of the police and the armed forces with private or business interests, including organised crime groups, in indigenous territories... [In] Brazil, [d]efenders of land, indigenous and environmental rights, union leaders, human rights lawyers and journalists are subject to threats from those whose interests are affected by the work of defenders – state officials, large landowners, criminal organisations and businesses...