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The report -- “In the line of fire: Increased legal protection needed as attacks against business & human rights defenders mount in 2020 -- is dedicated to the attacks against HRDs, including types, circumstances and geography of the attacks, as well as the role of companies. It also emphasised the impact of COVID-19 on HRDs. As suggested in the report, “a mandatory duty for companies to respect human rights and the environment is a vital step in preventing and reducing attacks against HRDs by mandating meaningful human rights due diligence and increasing accountability for harm”.
The report unveiled the rise in the number of attacks on HRDs working on business-related human rights issues, from 572 attacks in 2019 up to 604 in 2020. According to the report, at least 1/3 of all attacks stemmed from the lack of meaningful participation, access to information and consultation, or the failure to secure free, prior and informed consent of local and indigenous communities. In more than half of all cases, defenders experienced judicial harassment (including criminalisation based on trumped-up charges and arbitrary detentions). Most of the attacks continued to be concentrated in Latin America, with 194 attacks, followed by Asia and Pacific with 173 attacks, and Eastern Europe and Russia with 129 attacks. Although many attacks on HRDs were committed in non-European countries, they were frequently related to European companies and their supply chains.
The full below is consultable at the link below.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is an independent, international, nonprofit organization working in a collaborative partnership with Amnesty International and leading academic institutions.