On March 21, the 40th session of the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution recognizing the importance of environmental human rights defenders and their protection.
The resolution was proposed by Norway and titled “Recognizing the contribution of environmental human rights defenders to the enjoyment of human rights, environmental protection, and sustainable development.”
Why was this resolution needed:
Environmental human rights defenders play a key role in protecting ecosystems and supporting a healthy and sustainable environment for all. Defending nature against greater destruction often comes with immense risks; in 2018, 321 human rights defenders were targeted and killed for their work — the highest number on record so far. More than three-quarters of those murdered were environmental human rights defenders.
Key aspects of the resolution include:
- Countries are called to adopt laws and protection measures to guarantee protection for defenders
- A requirement for accountability for attacks and threats against defenders
- A call for businesses to carry out due diligence and meaningful inclusion and consultation for those who would be affected by their plans
You can view the declaration here