A report released tells the stories of countless people who stand up to the might of multinationals, paramilitaries and even their own governments in the most dangerous countries on earth to be a defender. It also analyses why they are facing increased threats, and explores what can be done to keep activists safe.
- Killings of defenders are not only growing, they’re spreading too.
- In 2016, documented 200 killings across 24 countries, compared to 185 across 16 in 2015.
- Almost 40% of those murdered were indigenous.
- A lack of prosecutions also makes it hard to identify those responsible, but found strong evidence that the police and military were behind at least 43 killings, with private actors such as security guards and hitmen linked to 52 deaths.
- Report says India has seen killings spike against a backdrop of heavy-handed policing and the repression of peaceful protests and civic activism.
- Brazil, the world’s deadliest country in terms of sheer numbers killed, though Honduras remains the most dangerous country per capital over the past decade followed by Colombia and Philippines.
Suggestion made in the report for protecting defenders
- Tackle the root causes of risk – guaranteeing communities can make free and informed choices about whether and how their land and resources are used.
- Support and protect defenders – through specific laws, policies and practices.
- Ensure accountability for abuses – going beyond prosecuting those responsible for ordering or carrying out an attack, by ensuring that those actors, like international investors, who failed to support threatened defenders face consequences for their inaction.
Source : The Hindu
GS II : Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders