Oct 27, 2016
This week Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, issued a shocking new report on environmental human rights defenders: “They spoke truth to power and were murdered in cold blood”. The report details the growing attacks on individuals and communities fighting for their human rights and defending their environments. It highlights the increased number of reprisals against those who raise concerns around development projects, and it identifies international financial institutions as important actors in ensuring that environmental human rights defenders can voice concerns without risking their lives. “At a minimum, IFIs have a duty to ensure that their activities do not contribute to, or exacerbate, human rights violations, including those committed by borrowers,” states the report. It then goes on to echo the recommendations put forward by the Coalition and our allies, including that development banks promote an enabling environment for fundamental freedoms and participation in development, and institute measures to identify and address risks to human rights and environmental defenders. You can read the report here.