Lawyers challenging those responsible for human rights violations pay an extremely high price - becoming targets of intimidation and repression because of the nature of the cases they take on. They may have their work obstructed, be followed, watched, harassed, subjected to spurious prosecutions, killed or ‘forcibly disappeared’.
Impunity happens in the absence of the rule of law. Under the rule of law, all people, all organisations, and the state itself are equally accountable to laws that are fairly applied and enforced, and there is equal access to justice when rights are violated.
WEBINAR - Business and Human Rights: Toolbox for Human Rights Defenders
The current COVID 19 context is presenting new challenges and threats for land and environmental rights defenders. From killings of defenders, the abuse of emergency measures to government restrictions on their movements. Communities impacted by negative corporate human rights practices are seeing an increase in the number of licenses being granted to companies as well as companies lobbying for loosened regulations.
Last Thursday, PBI UK and the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk announced the winners of the second Sir Henry Brooke Awards for Human Rights Defenders.
Over 40,000 people are disappeared across Mexico.
Some of these 40,000 may be alive, and some make up the 26,000 bodies that lie unidentified in morgues across the country.
The terrifying figures of forced disappearance in Mexico speak not only of the crisis of extreme violence the country is living through, but also of the deep need to address structural injustices that allow human rights violations to continue without investigation or the punishing of those responsible.
Honduras has been named the ‘most dangerous country in Central America for members of the gay and lesbian community’.
Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
In December 2018 Dina Meza, a celebrated Honduran independent journalist, was invited to the UK to speak at the FCO’s Human Rights Day event. During her time in London Dina Meza met with the Minister for Human Rights; Lord Ahmad, All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, as well as representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss the human rights situation in Honduras as well as restrictions on freedom of expression and attacks against journalists in the country. She also met with NGOs and donors.
Daniel Prado is a prominent Colombian human rights lawyer. He began his career by providing legal support to the family members of victims of enforced disappearance in the early 1990s and currently works with the Colombian NGO the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP).