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Submission Re: Criminalization and attacks against indigenous peoples defending their rights: proposals for action to prevent and protect

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is grateful for the opportunity to provide this input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. As a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute, we focus on international investment and its impacts on sustainable development. In this context, we are increasingly concerned about the repression and criminalization of human rights defenders, including indigenous rights defenders, in the context of investment projects—a situation that unfortunately seems to show no sign of abating.
Our input focuses on one specific topic that we believe may be overlooked in general discussions about human rights defenders: the possibility that the international investment law regime, comprised of thousands of bilateral and multilateral treaties, may in a causal way exacerbate the potential for repression and criminalization of human rights defenders. This concern was raised at a one-day roundtable hosted by CCSI and the UN Working Group for Business and Human Rights in October 2017,1 and we believe it merits further exploration.


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Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Published Here
February 21, 2019
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