Human Rights Defenders & Business - Annual Snapshot

There were 572 attacks in 2019 alone, up from 492 in 2018

Human rights defenders (HRDs) provide a vital safeguard for human rights when states fall short in holding power to account. Yet despite their importance, they increasingly face an unacceptable risk of attack.

Read the January 2020 Snapshot here

From 2015 to 2019, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has documented more than 2,000 attacks on HRDs raising concerns about business-related human rights abuses - from frivolous lawsuits, arbitrary arrests and detentions to death threats, beatings and even killings.

The snapshot provides an assessment of our data from 2019. The findings show that:

  • There were?572 attacks in 2019?alone, up from 492 in 2018 - most of these attacks took place in Latin America, followed by Asia and the Pacific region, and Eastern Europe and Russia
  • The sectors that saw the most attacks in 2019 were?mining?(including illegal mining) (143 attacks),?agribusiness?(85),?waste disposal?(51),?renewable energy?(47),?construction?(42),?oil, gas and coal?(38), and?logging and lumber?(38)
  • Attacks on?women human rights defenders related to business have?increased every year?for the past five years, with?137 attacks?recorded in 2019 – almost?half?of which were against indigenous women and affected community leaders
  • Almost?half of all attacks in 2019 were related to judicial harassment?of HRDs, including through SLAPPs brought by businesses

Visit the Human Rights Defenders portal here.?