Business and Human Rights

States are not the world’s only violators of human rights, nor are they the only parties responsible for their respect and protection. In recent years, the enormous expansion of economic relations, with multinational companies pursuing more business opportunities around the globe, has posed new threats to workers, the environment and local communities, introducing a whole new set of challenges to the field of human rights.

This trend has been accompanied by rising energy consumption and huge structural projects, leading to the creation of new domestic and international rules in an attempt to protect the rights of people in this new environment.

While in the past only companies from the North were pursuing business opportunities – mainly in agriculture and mining – in the Global South, nowadays developing countries like Brazil are also expanding their international presence, particularly in countries like Angola, Mozambique, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. In these cases, reports of human rights abuses are not rare, especially those related to forced evictions, disrespect for the rights of indigenous peoples, excessive use of force and other violations of fundamental rights.The role of Conectas in this field emerged from the conviction that civil society has a fundamental role to play in strengthening corporate accountability and liability mechanisms for human rights violations committed by the private sector, in particular by Brazilian companies operating in Brazil and abroad.

On the international level, Conectas monitors the activities of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights of the UN Human Rights Council and the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations of the African Commission of Human and People’s Rights.

In Brazil, Conectas develops a research project on the human rights parameters used by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).

Other News

  • May 25th, 2017

    Assault on the environment

    In the midst of political chaos, Congress continues to weaken environmental protections

  • May 11th, 2017

    Economic and social rights

    World Bank strategy for investments in Brazil minimizes social impact of structural reforms

  • April 12th, 2017

    Freedom of Information Law: 5 years

    Seminar commemorates anniversary of FOI Law with examples of its impact

  • March 27th, 2017

    Blacklist does not infringe on fundamental rights

    Article by Caio Borges published on Jota

  • December 23rd, 2016

    Broad and diverse participation

    Organizations call for more room for civil society at UN Regional Consultation in Chile

  • December 16th, 2016

    Hydroelectric dams that kill

    Organizations issue statement against hydroelectric dams in the Amazon

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