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Business & Human Rights

Bertita Caceres, daughter of murdered human rights defender Berta Caceres, at a mural of her mother.

Overview

The corporate race for natural resources has put millions of people at risk of exploitation and abuse.

In developing countries, land six times the size of Ireland has been sold to global corporations over the last 20 years. Indigenous communities are evicted from their homes, pushed off their land and their rivers are polluted.

Brave women and men who peacefully resist the actions of big business are under attack. Beatings, intimidation, even murder are all on the rise. Trócaire’s campaign demands that companies are held to account for these human rights violations.

 

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Take Action

I’ve 1 minute

Watch this short explainer video to learn more about the issue.

Watch the video

I’ve 5 minutes

Read the 5 key takeaways from our Making a Killing report.

Read the Article

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Why you need to take action

In rural communities where Trócaire works, access to land, water and forests are essential for life and livelihoods. Big business is acquiring vast amounts of land in these communities for mining, logging and agri-businesses without consulting the communities affected. The quest for profit comes at the expense of livelihoods, human rights and the environment.

Activists who peacefully defend their land and human rights face violent evictions, intimidation, imprisonment and even murder. Women and indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable to abuse. At least 137 attacks on women activists were recorded last year alone.

247
people

In 2018, at least 247 people globally were killed for protecting their land and the environment.

We live in a globalised world where business knows no borders. Yet international human rights law has not kept pace with how powerful corporations have become. Companies must be accountable if their investments and operations put people and the planet at risk.

The growing levels of violence experienced by communities who peaceful resist the actions of some big businesses stand in stark contrast to the lack of global, corporate accountability.

We live in a globalised world where business knows no borders. Yet international human rights law has not kept pace with how powerful corporations have become. Companies must be accountable if their investments and operations put people and the planet at risk.

The growing levels of violence experienced by communities who peaceful resist the actions of some big businesses stand in stark contrast to the lack of global, corporate accountability.

Take Action

I’ve 1 minute

Watch this short explainer video to learn more about the issue.

Watch the video

I’ve 5 minutes

Read the 5 key takeaways from our Making a Killing report.

Read the Article

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Watch our documentary and share with your friends.

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How can we bring about change?

Trócaire supports communities on the frontline in a number of ways. We negotiate with local government to obtain land title and provide training so parents can protect themselves and their children from intimidation and violence.

Devastating human rights violations will continue unless voluntary approaches to corporate accountability are replaced with legally binding measures.

Across Ireland, Trócaire engages citizens to demand the Irish and UK Governments:

  • Constructively engage in the process to create an International Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights. This treaty would be an important step in holding private companies to account for any human rights abuses they are responsible for in the country where their Head Office is based.
  • Introduce legislation domestically which would require Irish/UK registered companies to respect human rights and the environment everywhere they work and hold them to account in the courts if they fail.
  • Proactively protect human rights defenders, with a focus on women defenders.

This campaign is not anti-business. It is about ensuring human rights and the environment are always prioritised over profits.

Take Action

I’ve 1 minute

Watch this short explainer video to learn more about the issue.

Watch the video

I’ve 5 minutes

Read the 5 key takeaways from our Making a Killing report.

Read the Article

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Campaign Wins

The Irish and UK governments attended negotiations at the United Nations in Geneva for a binding treaty on Business and Human Rights in October 2019. People concerned about the corporate abuse of power across Ireland campaigned for our governments to be present.

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After many years of campaigning from Trócaire and our partner organisations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a list of companies doing business connected to illegal Israeli settlements.

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Guatemalan activist Abelino Chub Caal was imprisoned on false criminal charges for more than two years for defending an indigenous community’s land rights from big business. He was finally freed in April 2019.

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Take Action

I’ve 1 minute

Watch this short explainer video to learn more about the issue.

Watch the video

I’ve 5 minutes

Read the 5 key takeaways from our Making a Killing report.

Read the Article

I’ve 15 minutes

Watch our documentary and share with your friends.

Watch the video

I’ve more time

Contact us to get involved with the campaign, come to an event, or host a photo exhibition in your community

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