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"Defenders of the Earth: Global killings of land and environmental defenders in 2016"
Author: Global Witness (United Kingdom), Published on: 13 July 2017
In 2016, at least 200 land and environmental defenders were murdered – the deadliest year on record. Not only is this trend growing, it’s spreading – killings were dispersed across 24 countries, compared to 16 in 2015. With many killings unreported, and even less investigated, it is likely that the true number is actually far higher... This tide of violence is driven by an intensifying fight for land and natural resources, as mining, logging, hydro-electric and agricultural companies trample on people and the environment in their pursuit of profit. As more and more extractive projects were imposed on communities, many of those who dared to speak out and defend their rights were brutally silenced...[G]lobally, governments and companies are failing in their duty to protect activists at risk...Investors, too, are fuelling the violence by backing projects that trash the environment and trample human rights... [They] are failing to tackle the main root cause of the attacks: the imposition of projects on communities without their free, prior and informed consent...Criminalisation tends to be used as a tactic when governments and business collude to prioritise shortterm profit over sustainable development. Over the course of 2015 and 2016 the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre documented at least 134 criminalisation cases of this type.
Related companies: Anglo American AngloGold Ashanti Axis Bank BHP (formerly BHP Billiton) BNDES Coal India (CIL) Energy Transfer Partners Finnfund FMO Glencore Jindal Los Encinos San Miguel Corporation SOCO International South Eastern Coalfields Limited (part of Coal India Limited) Vedanta Resources Yes Bank