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From Brazil to the Philippines, to the Standing Rock Reservation in the USA, companies and governments have used physical threats against earth rights defenders.

Examples of physical threats include:

  • Killings and attempted killings
  • Sexual assault and rape
  • Torture
  • Arbitrary detention and illegal arrest
Two hundred and seven killings of land and environment defenders were documented in 2017, the worst on record, although the actual numbers are likely much higher.
40 %
Because indigenous people, by definition, live in close connection to specific lands, and often stand between valuable resources and the elites who want those resources, it is predictable that they are vastly over-represented in the number of earth rights defenders killed each year – representing almost 40% of all victims killed in 2016.
25 %
Of all threats and attacks against human rights defenders in 2016 and 2017 were connected to companies headquartered in Canada, China, and the USA (UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders).

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

Case: Norperuano Pipeline Contamination

A pipeline in the northernmost Peruvian Amazon has been spilling oil and contaminating communities for 50 years. The pipeline is operated by the Peruvian government, through its state-owned oil company