People Power Under Attack 2021 - recommendations


To Governments:

  • Protect human rights defenders and journalists by establishing effective regulatory protection of the environment on a diverse range of rights in line with international human rights law and standards, including free prior and informed consent.
  • Create an enabling environment for human rights defenders, journalists and activists to freely raise concerns over human rights issues without fear of intimidation, attacks or reprisals.
  • Carry out independent, prompt and impartial investigations into all cases where human rights defenders and journalists were threatened and/or killed and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice to deter others.
  • Put an end to the practice of enforced disappearance, conduct independent investigations into all cases and hold those responsible accountable for their actions to deter others.
  • All restrictive laws and policies put in place for the purpose of controlling the spread of the COVID pandemic should be lifted as soon as conditions that prompted the laws improve.
  • Take additional steps to decongest prison populations to reduce the spread of the COVID virus by releasing human rights defenders, journalists and protesters in prison and detention centres and drop all charges against them.
  • Desist from using excessive force against peaceful protesters, stop preempting and preventing protests, adopt best practices on the freedom of peaceful assembly and ensure any restrictions imposed on assemblies comply with international human rights standards.
  • Ensure that elections held in the context of the pandemic take into account basic principles on democracy and good governance and that an enabling environment is provided for all parties, the public and the media without discrimination.
  • Repeal any legislation that criminalises human rights defenders, protesters, journalists and minorities and ensure that adequate consultations are carried out with the public and civil society and their input taken into account before drafting legislation that could impact civic space.
  • Take appropriate measures to fully implement all recommendations accepted by states made by United Nations Special Rapporteurs and United Nations Working Groups including those from the Universal Periodic Reviews.

To the United Nations and international bodies

  • Provide access for communities and civil society to engage in decision-making processes at the level of the United Nations and work closely with states to ensure that access to the United Nations is not limited by laws, travel restrictions and technologies.

To Businesses and Corporations

  • Develop and implement due diligence procedures that seek to prevent, identify and account for human rights including references to respect the rights of land, Indigenous and environmental rights defenders.
  • Take a strong position against reprisals, threats and attacks against human rights defenders, particularly those advocating for climate justice and for the rights of indigenous communities.
  • Carry out adequate consultations with communities, the public and civil society and take their concerns and views into account before embarking on projects that would impact on the environment and the livelihood of communities.