In the framework of the United Nations “Human rights defender” is a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights. These include all sorts of rights, including the rights to health and food, or the rights to land and natural resources, so the defenders of the environment are a specific subgroup of the defenders of human rights in general.
The frequency of killings and threats against those who defend the environment and the rights of their people, and the subsequent impunity enjoyed by the majority of perpetrators of such serious violations affect the protection of the environment as well as our most fundamental human rights. Human rights violations committed against these environmental defenders or activists are generally directly related to their activities of claiming, defending, and protecting territories and natural resources, or their defence of the right to autonomy and the right to cultural identity
Click here for the factsheet (10 pages): FS_048_Human Rights of Environmental Defenders