Increasing the protection of human rights in the face of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation


Every day across the globe, people bravely speak out against injustice, often at great personal risk. Human rights defenders are at the forefront of promoting and protecting our human rights, natural resources, and shared planet, as well as playing a vital role in drawing attention to the harms created by abusive business practices and monitoring companies’ compliance with business and human rights standards. Human rights defenders are not anti-development, but they are often painted as such and face a range of attacks for merely speaking up against business-related human rights harms, especially in jurisdictions where the rule of law is weak and respect for human rights is lacking.

The Forum on Business and Human Rights 2021 produced this video in November 2021.

Key questions:

  • What is the scope and nature of SLAPPs globally?
  • What are the associated human rights harms caused to human rights defenders by their use?
  • What are the positive steps taken by businesses to address such attacks against defenders?
  • What are the challenges that human rights defenders face when trying to defend themselves against SLAPPs?
  • What are different stakeholders doing to address the problem, such as national and regional bar associations, and regional organisations?

Mr. Emmanuel Umpula, Ms. Rebecca DeWinter Schmitt, Lady Nancy Zuluaga Jaramillo, Ms. Sutharee Wannasiri, Ms. Mary Lawlor, Ms. Leanne Govindsamy, Charlie Holt