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Companies and powerful interests use their influence in the courts and legislatures to create legal problems for earth rights defenders.

Examples include:

  • Criminalization of the rights to free speech, assembly, and press
  • Abuse of national security and counter-terrorism laws
  • Judicial harassment through civil lawsuits (SLAPPs)
Companies are increasingly using “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (SLAPPs) to silence their critics. SLAPPs masquerade as civil lawsuits but their real purpose is to harass earth rights defenders, journalists, and others who speak out.
Powerful interests around the world have convinced legislators to adopt laws criminalizing protest and shrink civil society space.
Democracy faced its most serious crisis in decades in 2017 as its basic tenets—free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law—came under attack around the world. (Freedom House)

Strategies in Action

Case: Sahu v. Union Carbide

In Bhopal, India, people continue to suffer from water contamination. And no one is taking responsibility. In 1984, the world’s worst industrial disaster – a toxic gas leak at a

Case: Campos-Alvarez v. Newmont Mining

Shooting Peaceful Mine Protesters in Peru. In Peru, police brutality against earth rights defenders is a systemic problem especially in the context of extractive industries. One emblematic example of police