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

  • July 10th, 2017

    Reason prevails

    Despite resistance of major powers, UN approves treaty to abolish nuclear weapons

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  • June 01st, 2017

    Legislative rider

    Organizations call for veto of article inserted into Order 752/16 that exempts banks from environmental crimes

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  • May 29th, 2017

    Doce River disaster on the agenda

    Event at the UN to discuss the bursting of Samarco’s waste dam and setbacks in Brazilian environmental legislation

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  • May 25th, 2017

    Assault on the environment

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

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  • May 15th, 2017

    A voice for affected communities

    Organizations request participation of victims in debate on business and human rights in the UN

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  • May 15th, 2017

    Government against the environment

    Provisional executive orders threaten conservation areas in the Amazon

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