CUTS International observed “Light for Defenders” Manifestation

Jaipur, December 10, 2021

CUTS International and CSOs from twelve states observed Human Rights Day as “Light for Defenders” manifestation to highlight the plight of environmental and land defenders at Jaipur today, Dec. 10, 2021. This is the fourth consecutive years; CUTS has observed this campaign along with global networks. The campaign will raise awareness on environmental defender´s role in protecting land and environment, said George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted on December 10, 1948, had a significant impact on our Indian constitution. UDHR is an international treaty enshrining the rights and freedoms of all people adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The Indian Constitution’s framers were motivated by the notion of human rights, and most of the UDHR’s human rights were guaranteed. Article 12 to 35 contained in Part III of the Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights. These are: Right to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment, he added.

According to the annual Global Witness report 2020, 227 environmental and land defenders were died in 2020 while protecting their homes and our planet. That’s more than four people every week on average, and it’s more than double the amount recorded in 2013. In addition, Tribal peoples comprise less than 5% of the world’s population but protect 80% of its biodiversity. However, four out of seven tribal died while defending their right on land environments, further said George while expressing his concern.

Around the globe, defenders of the environment are being attacked, harassed, and murdered, many times in connection with business activities. The situation for environmental activists is worse. This has to stop! and has to raise awareness and put demands to decision makers for binding rules on business to respect human rights and the environment, he concluded.


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George Cheriyan, Director, Email: