abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

Esta página não está disponível em Português e está sendo exibida em English

Business, Civic Freedoms & HRDs: Our analysis

See all tags

Between January 2015 – March 2023, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre tracked more than 4,700 attacks against human rights defenders raising concerns about harmful business practice. In 2022 alone, we tracked 555 attacks, revealing that on average more than 10 defenders were attacked every single week for raising legitimate concerns about irresponsible business activity. Three-quarters of attacks (75%) were against climate, land and environmental defenders. Over a fifth of attacks (23%) were against Indigenous defenders, who are protecting over 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity, although they comprise approximately 6% of the global population.

Latest Reports

Guardians at risk: Confronting corporate abuse in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the most dangerous regions in the world for human rights defenders. Our analysis of data on attacks against HRDs who raise concerns about business operations reveals the failure of governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to fulfil their duty to protect human rights and the insufficiency of voluntary corporate action to respect human rights.

Vexatious lawsuits: Corporate use of SLAPPs to silence critics

Every day, people across the globe raise concerns about business-related harm to their communities, environments and rights, sometimes at great personal cost. These defenders face a range of attacks, including abuse of legal systems, to deter peaceful protest and stop their legitimate human rights work. Judicial harassment – including strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs – has made up more than half of the attacks against human rights defenders raising concerns about business practice since we began tracking in 2015. This form of abuse presents a grave threat to defenders’ participation in peaceful public discourse around operations and activities which affect their lives.

Human rights defenders & business in 2022: People challenging corporate power to protect our planet

Human rights defenders continue to face intolerable levels of risk and harm. In their vital work to promote human rights and protect the environment, they confront powerful actors and interests. They raise concerns about companies and investors engaged in irresponsible practice, governments failing in their duty to protect human rights, and other non-state actors profiting from environmental destruction. According to CIVICUS, 2022 was marked by a serious decline in civic space, with only 3% of the world’s population living in countries with open civic space, where the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and expression are respected.

Business and human rights defenders in Southeast Asia

Between 2015 and 2021, we recorded more than 4,200 attacks on human rights defenders (HRDs) raising concerns about business-related human rights abuses. During this seven-year period, Asia-Pacific and Latin America have consistently been the two most dangerous regions for HRDs focused on business and nearly a quarter of all attacks globally (22% or 916 attacks) have occurred in Southeast Asia. In 2021, three out of the four most dangerous countries for HRDs in Asia-Pacific were located in Southeast Asia: the Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Protector not prisoner: Exploring the rights violations & criminalization of Indigenous Peoples in climate actions

Between January 2015 and August 2022, we tracked 883 attacks on Indigenous human rights defenders, including killings, threats, arbitrary detention, and strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs). Nearly all (95%) of attacks against Indigenous defenders between January 2015 – August 2022 were on climate, land, and environmental defenders, compared with just two-thirds (63%) for non-Indigenous defenders. This data helps show how Indigenous peoples play an outsized role in the protection of land, water, and forests and the disproportionate risks they face.

All Reports

Our Recommendations and Guidance

Our recommendations: 2022

The scale and severity of attacks on people across the globe protecting our rights and environment clearly show the need for urgent action. We call on States to fulfil their duty to protect the rights of defenders and for business actors to respect the rights of defenders by acting on these recommendations.

Safeguarding human rights defenders: Practical Guidance for Investors

Institutional investors can be connected to harmful impacts on defenders through their investments in companies that cause, contribute to, or are directly linked to actions that undermine the rights of defenders. This publication provides institutional investors with practical guidance on how to prevent, mitigate, and address negative impacts on defenders in investment portfolios.

Strategic lawsuits against public participation: Southeast Asia cases & recommendations for governments, business & civil society

Except for the Philippines, Southeast Asian countries have no laws defining SLAPPs but all countries, except for Brunei, protect the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly in their constitutions. This Briefing Note focuses on SLAPPs in Southeast Asia and aims to amplify legal arguments and court decisions that have successfully upheld the freedoms of expression, association, and/or peaceful assembly of HRD.

Shared space under pressure: Business support for civic freedoms & Human Rights Defenders

Drawing on over 90 interviews, this guidance urges companies to engage and to act—carefully but deliberately—in their own interests and in the mutual interest that they share with civil society in support of civic freedoms and defenders. It sets forth both the normative responsibility, the business case and the moral choice that companies should consider, and proposes a decision framework to guide companies as they decide whether and if so how to act.