A Hidden Crisis? Increase in Killings as Tensions Rise over Land and Forests

This briefing highlights the human cost of the intensifying competition for land and forests, as the world gathers for critical environment and development talks in Rio. For the past 17 years Global Witness has worked with and seen communities, NGO workers, individuals and journalists intimidated, beaten up and sometimes killed over disputes about how land and forest are used and managed. So we attempted to get a sense of the scale of this problem globally. We counted the numbers of people killed over the past decade (years 2002-2011 inclusive) defending their human rights or the human rights of others related to the environment, specifically land and forests. These rights include enjoyment of a healthy environment, according to UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/45/94 (14 Dec 1990); as well as the rights of indigenous peoples to their land and its resources, including forests; the right to life, livelihood and freedom of expression. This snapshot survey was carried out through desk research and consultation with human rights and environmental groups.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Human Rights Defenders
Author: Global Witness