Our key takeaway: At least 401 human rights defenders were killed in 2022, across 26 countries. However, death is not the only or the main threat that defenders face. Threats reported against defenders include arrest and detention (19.5%); legal action (14.2%), physical assault (12.8%), death threats (10.9%) and surveillance (9.6%). Who are the most vulnerable? Those defending environmental, land and indigenous people’s rights, who accounted for 48% of deaths and 11% of the total threats reported on. Other defenders and spaces to watch out for include those defending freedom of expression and the right to protest, women rights, access to justice, rights in the context of conflict and crisis and rights in the digital space. What can companies do? Monitor countries in their sourcing markets and operations based on the main threats by region, as well as the kinds of defenders that are most vulnerable in those spaces.
Frontline Defenders published its annual report Global analysis 2022 (April 2023) on the risks to human rights defenders around the globe: