UN Special Rapporteur calls for business & human rights treaty to protect human rights defenders

Author: Bethany N. Bella & Geoffrey D. Dabelko, New Security Beat , Published on: 22 December 2016

"Environmental Defenders Are Being Murdered at an Unprecedented Rate, Says UN Special Rapporteur", 22 Dec 2016

The Earth’s front-line defenders are disappearing at an astonishing rate. On average three environmental activists were killed each week in 2015, according to a recent report from the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders...Latin America and Asia are the hotspots for increased environmental human rights violence, where industries like mining, deforestation, and palm oil cultivation are taking a toll on the land and people. Land and resource rights in many hotspots are highly contested, especially concerning ancestral lands and the rights of indigenous populations, and there are few legal protections that can be counted on. The report finds that in almost every Latin American country where such abuses are present, government and corporate actors were involved...Given the  “heightened risk posed by business activities” though, the special rapporteur now calls for the international community to do more: to “formulate an international treaty to prevent and address human rights violations by transnational and national business enterprises.”...

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