Funding Institution: International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP) (Institut Català Internacional per la Pau)
Period: September 2022 – September 2023
Summary of the research project: Businesses might get involved, directly or indirectly, in the abuses committed against human rights and environmental defenders, especially when defenders oppose the negative impacts of business activities. Although businesses have the responsibility to respect human rights, according to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in practice, few corporations adopt due diligence procedures on a voluntary basis. There is currently a trend towards the adoption of mandatory due diligence laws. In Catalonia, Spain and the European Union promising proposals that seek to promote or impose mandatory due diligence requirements on businesses are rising. This project aims to study whether, and to what extent, these new regulations can be effective tools to empower human rights and environmental defenders and to prevent and mitigate the attacks and threats they suffer.
Objectives: Based on the information available on the attacks and threats suffered by human rights and environmental defenders and a critical description of the international legal framework for their protection, in the context of business activities, the project will develop the following objectives:
- Analyse the treatment of violence against defenders in human rights and environmental due diligence processes.
- Assess to what extent the work and the situation of violence against human rights defenders are taken into consideration in the proposals for regulations that will impose mandatory due diligence requirements in Catalonia, indirectly, in Spain and in other EU members states.
- Formulate legal and policy proposals to improve the prevention and redress of the violence suffered by human rights and environmental defenders through regulatory developments regarding mandatory due diligence.
- Antoni Pigrau Solé (coordinator), Universitat Rovira i Virgili
- Daniel Iglesias Márquez (coordinator), Universitat Rovira i Virgili
- Alfonso González Bondia, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
- Víctor Merino Sancho, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
- Carmen Montero Ferrer, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
- Alexandre Moreno Urpí, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
- Maria Chiara Marullo, Universitat Jaume I
- Laura Íñigo Álvarez, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
- Lucas Sebastián de Erice Aranda, Universidad de La Laguna
- Alejandra Durán Castellanos, CICrA Justicia Ambiental