Conectas submits comments to UN paper on human rights defenders and business

Working Group on Business and Human Rights releases guidance for the protection of activists

Conectas has submitted comments to the discussion paper “Identifying Elements for Guidance on Human Rights Defenders and the Role of Business”, produced by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The organization analyzed the elements proposed by the Working Group and provided some responses to issues raised by the group.

The original document is divided into three pillars: the duty of the State to protect, the responsibility of corporations to respect rights and the guarantee of access to remedy. Conectas commented on each topic and made suggestions to guarantee the best standards of prevention, protection and remedy.

The organization believes that “the Working Group has an essential role to play in framing the issue of human rights defenders in public debate”. According to Conectas, “however obvious it might be for those familiarized with the role of defenders that they are a group particularly vulnerable to rights violations, the perception of the wider public about the issue is not clear-cut”.

In its comments, the organization also points out that attacks against rights defenders are not always perpetrated by companies. In many cases, police forces commit violations against human rights activists to defend the interests of private corporations.

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