Invitation to a side event on land and environment defenders at the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights

  • Event Date: 28.11.14
  • Event Time: 16:01:00

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

a joint programme of

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

in partnership with

CIDSE, Franciscans International, PeaceBrigades International (PBI)

invites you to a side event at the UN Annual Forum on Business and HumanRights entitled

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Improving protection and ensuring participation of Land and Environment Defenders in all business initiatives and discussions”

3 December 2014, Room IX, Palais des Nations


Despitethe increased recognition of the important role played by human rightsdefenders, and women in particular, when confronting adverse impacts ofinvestment projects, much remains to be done to enhance their protection andparticipation and to put an end to the abuses they face.

Womenand men who promote and protect land and environment-related human rights stillface in return a large range of abuses committed by State and non-State actorson all continents. In Latin America, Africa and Asia particularly, thosedefenders have been under surveillance, criminalised, slandered, attacked,arbitrarily detained, harassed or otherwise threatened, and in some caseskilled, in a climate of impunity. Because of this growing and worrying trend,there is clearly a great need for the international community, States andbusinesses to seek concrete ways to actively respect and protect land andenvironment defenders.

Thisside event therefore aims to encourage all stakeholders to take into accountthe special situation – in terms of protection and participation - ofthose who advocate on the respect ofland and environmental rights. It will also address challenges faced by womenand men human rights defenders to access remedy when their rights are violatedand the effectiveness of the remedies on offer.

* The Observatory will be presenting its 2014 AnnualReport entitled: We Are not Afraid”. Land Rights Defenders : attacked forconfronting unbridled development.


- Gerald Staberock – OMCT Secretary General

- Debby Stothard, FIDH Secretary General

- Irrael Manuel Aguilar Solano - Governor of the Zenú Indigenous Reserve (Resguardo) of Alto San Jorge – Colombia

- Donald Hernández Palma – Honduras Center for the Promotion of Community Development (CEHPRODEC) – Honduras

- Jaybee Garganera - Tampakan Forum – Philippines

- Key Note: Hila Elver – UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (video message)

- Moderator: Denise Auclair, CIDSE

Interpretation will be provided in English and Spanish.

Coffee and Croissants will be offered before the event