Across the globe, governments and corporate entities are harassing, threatening, attacking, imprisoning and killing defenders of environmental and human rights.
In 2015, at least 185 land and environmental defenders were killed across 16 countries. That trend has continued in 2016, which includes the murder of Goldman Environmental Prize winner, Berta Caceres, due to her advocacy against the Agua Zarca Dam. These co-violations indicate serious, systemic governance problems in which the conquest for economic growth outweigh the fundamental rights and well-being of humans and nature.
On International Human Rights Day (December 10th 2016) Earth Law Center released its second annual report detailing 200 cases of co-violations of human rights and nature’s rights worldwide; situations in which governments, industries, or others violate both the rights of nature and human rights with the same action.
28 percent of cases examined involved at least one murder, 30 percent involved harm to indigenous peoples’ rights, and almost 60 percent of the cases resulted in biodiversity loss. Perpetrators include both government and economic actors – with 43 percent of cases involving both government and economic actors as perpetrators.
The report highlights specific solutions, including calls to
· recognize the fundamental rights of nature, such as through U.N. adoption of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth;
· create a comprehensive system to receive information on, monitor, and act upon co-violations to ensure prevention and reparation;
· formulate of an international treaty to prevent and address co-violations by transnational and national business enterprises;
· ensure full participation and consultation with affected communities; and
· provide emergency protection to at-risk environmental defenders.
Continue reading at our co-violations page.