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Defending Tomorrow The climate crisis and threats against land and environmental defenders

[Global Witness’] annual report into the killings of land and environmental defenders in 2019 shows the highest number yet have been murdered in a single year. 212 land and environmental defenders were killed in 2019 – an average of more than four people a week.

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Extraterritorial Obligations in the Context of Eco-destruction and Climate Change

Extraterritorial obligations (ETOs) are a missing link in the universal human rights protection system. Without ETOs, human rights cannot assume their proper role as the legal basis for regulating globalization and ensuring universal protection of all people and groups. A consistent realization of ETOs can generate an enabling environment for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and guarantee the primacy of human rights among competing sources of international law. ETOs provide for State regulation of transnational corporations, State accountability for the actions and omissions of intergovernmental organizations in which they participate, set standards for the human rights obligations of IGOs, and are a tool needed to ultimately stop the destruction of eco-systems and climate change.

A Deadly Shade of Green – Threats to Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Latin America

This report illustrates the severe human rights violations in Latin America against environmental defenders, who engage in lawful activities that bring to light environmental damage and human rights abuses. Though not exhaustive, this report provides an overview of recent incidents throughout Latin America. The incidents cited cover a range of human rights violations, including violent attacks, torture, disappearances, and killings.

A Powerful Civil Society Movement Pushes Forward the Treaty to Regulate International Corporations

When it comes to making corporations take responsibility for the human rights impacts of their global operations, voluntary measures are insufficient. That’s why countries met from October 23-27 to negotiate an international, legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights.


Case Studies

Access a portal which highlights over 100 leading corporate accountability lawsuits.

Each lawsuit on the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre site has a summary profile at the top, providing a concise synopsis of the case with links to key news articles, commentaries, pleadings by both sides, and decisions.

This is my message to the western world – your civilisation is killing life on Earth

My name is Nemonte Nenquimo. I am a Waorani woman, a mother, and a leader of my people. The Amazon rainforest is my home. I am writing you this letter because the fires are raging still. Because the corporations are spilling oil in our rivers. Because the miners are stealing gold (as they have been for 500 years), and leaving behind open pits and toxins. Because the land grabbers are cutting down primary forest so that the cattle can graze, plantations can be grown and the white man can eat. Because our elders are dying from coronavirus, while you are planning your next moves to cut up our lands to stimulate an economy that has never benefited us. Because, as Indigenous peoples, we are fighting to protect what we love – our way of life, our rivers, the animals, our forests, life on Earth – and it’s time that you listened to us.

Cambodia: NGOs find that 132 times of strategic lawsuits against public participation are used against human rights defenders over a one-year period

Four Cambodian civil society organizations have released a joint newsletter entitled “Factsheet: Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,” which says that the Cambodian government has been using legal strategies against public participation that are intended to discourage, intimidate and suppress criticism.

A healthy Earth needs its indigenous people

Lands and waters that are owned, managed and used by indigenous people are much healthier than those that aren’t. A growing body of research supports the clear implication that indigenous peoples have a vital role to play in addressing the biodiversity crisis.

Adani legal action sparks fears journalists could be targeted over Carmichael mine leaks

Lawyers for Adani have sought to identify people who obtained leaked information about its Carmichael coal project, raising concerns that journalists could be dragged into “conspiracy” legal proceedings launched by the miner against an environmental activist.

Residents of a Kenyan village awarded $12 million in a lawsuit over lead poisoning

The court ordered the government to clean up Owino Uhuru, a village on the outskirts of Mombasa, within four months and gave the relevant agencies 90 days to pay out the compensation money.

Thursday’s ruling comes after years of grassroots work by environmental activist Phyllis Omido, who launched a legal challenge against the government and the smelting plant owners, accusing them of violating of Kenyan environmental and human rights law and exposing the community to lead poisoning.