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On Int'l Human Rights Day, Filipino business leaders are called to speak up for human rights

Author: Bennett Freeman, Chair of the Global Witness Advisory Board, in Business World, Published on: 10 December 2019

"Business and human rights", 08 Dec 2019

This week sees Human Rights Day, celebrated globally every 10th December to mark the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights...  Since Global Witness began publishing data in 2012, the Philippines has consistently recorded the highest number of killings in Asia of people who oppose illegal logging, destructive mining, or corrupt agribusiness. Few of the perpetrators are....prosecuted. By 2018...Philippines became the country with the highest total number of such killings in the world, with many others attacked or imprisoned... It is first and foremost up to the Philippines government to support community leaders and NGOs at risk, and to tackle the root causes of attacks on these activists...In practice, Duterte has so far failed to keep his promises...It is precisely in this context that business must take a stand, especially where governments are unable to protect human rights... Filipino business leaders can join with the multinational corporations operating in the agriculture, extractives, and other sectors connected to these attacks to demand both accountability for the perpetrators and action to address their root causes...There is a growing international recognition that there is a “shared space” of the rule of law, accountable governance and civic freedoms that links civil society and business...

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