India second most dangerous country for HRs defenders


India witnessed the second-highest number of attacks on human rights defenders across the world last year, a study conducted by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) has claimed.

The study titled, “Human rights defenders & business in 2022: People challenging corporate power to protect our planet” recorded 54 attacks on human rights defenders in India while there were 63 cases in Brazil. The BHRRC advances human rights in business and eradicates abuse by empowering advocates, strengthening corporate accountability and building corporate transparency. It has offices in New York and London.

The study said attacks against human rights and environmental defenders occur in every region of the world. “Since we began tracking in 2015, Latin America and Asia and the Pacific have consistently been the most dangerous regions for defenders,” it said.

According to the study, between January 2015 and March 2023, the BHRRC tracked more than 4,700 attacks against human rights defenders raising concerns about harmful business practices. India’s multi-national company, JSW Steel Ltd., is one of the establishments with which the highest number of attacks on defenders are connected.

“The five companies whose operations, value chains, or business relationships were connected to the highest numbers of attacks in 2022 were JSW Steel Ltd. (India), Otterlo Business Corporation (UAE), TotalEnergies (France, East African Crude Oil Pipeline majority shareholder), Inversiones los Pinares (Honduras), and NagaCorp Ltd and its subsidiary NagaWorld (Cambodia).