Business & Human Rights

In Protection International (PI), we believe that the benefits of economic development, growth, and prosperity must benefit society as a whole, not just a privileged few.

Protection International works with the Coalition for Human Rights in Development, which gathers communities and civil society groups around the world, to call upon development finance institutions, governments, and businesses to stand up for human rights.

The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights of 2011 highlights the requirement that companies and States, including when acting through multilateral financial institutions, undertake human rights due diligence to ensure their investments respect human rights. Unfortunately, today we continue to see investments in the name of development that do not meet the needs or respect the human rights of poor or marginalised communities. These local communities can be affected both by the lack of consultation and participation and by the negative impact such projects have on the environment and their livelihoods.

In the context of natural resource extraction, infrastructure development and investment, we see an environment where human rights defenders who speak out about development projects find themselves labeled and stigmatised as “anti-development” and subjected to threats, intimidation, detention, and violent attacks by state and non-state actors (including private national and multinational corporate interests) in an attempt to silence and hamper their struggle.

In PI, we have taken sides with the communities and civil society groups around the world, calling upon development financiers, companies and investors to Stand up for Human Rights by taking the following steps:

  1. Promote Rights-Respecting Development. Adopt a policy commitment to respect human rights and implement due diligence to prevent human rights violations.
  2. Protect Civil Society Participation. Ensure meaningful voluntary participation and informed consent in development processes and promote an enabling environment for civil society.
  3. Defend the Defenders. Adopt a zero-tolerance policy on attacks against human rights defenders and enact protocols to prevent and respond to such attacks while fighting the impunity that benefits aggressors.

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