Human rights defenders
REPORT | 12 December 2019

Urgent need for companies to address attacks against rights defenders

In a new report, Swedwatch and six Swedish civil society organisations urge European companies to step up efforts to address risks to human rights and environmental defenders, and call on the EU and its Member States to adopt laws requiring companies to do so.

ARTICLE | 16 December 2019

Swedwatch supports East African partners to hold businesses accountable

With training sessions on business, human rights and the environment, Swedwatch has supported East African partners working with communities affected by mining and agribusiness in their work to hold business actors accountable.

REPORT | 26 November 2019

Human rights and environmental impact of business overlooked in peacebuilding

More than a billion people are affected by violent conflict around the world each year but the vital role of business in fuelling conflict and sustaining peace is often overlooked in international peacebuilding efforts, a new Swedwatch policy paper argues.

  • Public procurement
  • High-risk and conflict areas
  • Vulnerable groups
  • Climate and environment
  • Community rights
  • Labour rights

Public procurement

Swedish municipalities, county councils and government authorities procure goods worth more than 63 billion euros annually. A large portion are manufactured or grown in countries where there is a high risk of negative impacts on human rights and the environment.

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High-risk and conflict areas

In areas where there is war or conflict, or where the state is weak, there is a higher risk of human rights violations. Companies active in such areas need to know and act responsibly on these risks.

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Vulnerable groups

Some groups, for example children, indigenous peoples or migrant workers run a higher risk than others of being adversely affected by companies’ activities. Whoever they are, companies have a duty to respect their special rights.

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Climate and environment

Climate and environment are closely linked to human rights. Companies have a responsibility to know how they affect the climate and the environment, and to make sure that they do not contribute to environmental degradation and climate change.

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Community rights

Forced displacement in connection with new land-related projects is common and in breach with several human rights. People who depend on family farming might end up losing their homes and incomes when forced to move.

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Labour rights

There is a high risk of employees’ rights being abused in global supply chains. Guaranteeing good working conditions is a substantial and important part of companies’ responsibilities in terms of respecting human rights.

Read more about Labour rights