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Land and environmental defenders are sitting ducks, while world goes into lockdown

Toward Freedom
Date published:
Michel Forst and Michael Taylor

A special Earth Day Op-Ed by Michel Forst, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and Michael Taylor, the Director of the International Land Coalition Secretariat highlgihted the immense risks faced by defenders of land, ecosystems and indigenous rights and potential measures to address them. The global COVID-19 pandemic has only exasperated an already difficult situation and urgent measures should be taken to protect those at risk, including maintain and reinforce the protection schemes, develop an urgent real-time alert system and moratorium on external activities in indigenous territories without the express concerned. Beyond urgent measures, building longer-term resilience for the affected communities is essential so that they are not as vulnerable to increased harassment, threats, criminalization and eventually, killings.


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