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Webinar Series: Portraits of Resilience, Hope and Solidarity
June 24 @ 8:00 am - July 8 @ 5:00 pm
Peace Brigades International UK are hosting a series of webinars entitled “Portraits of Resilience, Hope and Solidarity: A Webinar Series”. The sessions will be an opportunity to hear the stories of human rights defenders and learn about the innovative strategies they are developing to keep their communities alive. These webinars aim to shine a light on the heroic efforts of brave human rights lawyers and other rule of law defenders to expose human rights violations and support vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 health crisis.
Together we will explore the impact of COVID-19 on defenders and the well being of the marginalised communities they support, as government measures encroach on basic rights and civil liberties. The series aims to bring our global network together, share expertise, and show solidarity for those campaigning for justice and upholding universal rights. There will be interpretation in Spanish for the webinars. More information on each webinar and how to register can be found here.
The webinar series aims to connect rule of law defenders with our global network of supporters to share expertise, and show solidarity for those upholding fundamental rights and the rule of law. Human rights defenders from across the world have been invited to speak about the ways community solidarity has saved lives and how present COVID-19 challenges can be overcome with international support. The webinars will be an opportunity for everyone to meet human rights defenders and learn more about the situation on the ground, the impact of COVID-19 on their work, and what they are doing to address the challenges posed to communities. It will be an opportunity to connect with one another and find strength in the resilience of human rights defenders. See below further information about the webinars which reflect our work with lawyers and human rights defenders fighting for environmental protection and corporate accountability.
The webinars will take place on June, 24th, July, 1st and 8th, with the following thematic focus:
24 June – Environmental Rights and the Legal Community
1 July – Women’s Rights During the Pandemic
8 July – Protecting our Future through Corporate Accountability
Wednesday 24th June: The legal community and environmental rights
Land and environmental rights defenders are the single most persecuted group of human rights defenders. Where previously human rights defenders have tentatively relied on the rule of law to represent the claims of communities to land, increasingly regressive legislation is making this more and more difficult. Join our discussion to find out what the legal community can do to prevent this, and the way forward for protecting environmental rights in times of crisis.
The session will be chaired by Richard Dyton, pro bono partner at Simmons and Simmons and trustee of the Legal Response Initiative, the Lawyers Against Poverty Network, and A4ID. Our star panel will also feature Kate Cook on the role and responsibilities of lawyers advising corporations and the importance of the UN Guiding principles on Business and Human Rights, and lawyer and environmental defender Donald Hernandez about his experience of protecting the rights of indigenous and peasant communities from corporate abuse in Honduras. Sekar Banjaran Aji will give us her perspective on the future of environmental protection from an Indonesian perspective in her capacity as a policy researcher. We will also be speaking to Simmons & Simmons lawyer Victoria Channing about best practice for pro bono work, with a focus on the toolbox developed partnership with PBI UK to equip human rights defenders with the knowledge and understanding needed to confront adverse corporate practices.
Wednesday 8th July: Protecting our future through corporate accountability
Corporations around the world are using the outbreak as an opportunity to ramp up their extractive practices and exploit the natural environment. Governments in Latin America have implemented policy measures that have privileged private sector interests in response to the crisis, benefiting the growth of agribusiness, extractivism, and hydroelectric projects. Our partners have reported that measures are in fact worsening the current humanitarian and social crisis. Guaranteed access to public information on these concessions does not exist and affected indigenous peoples are unable to organise consultation actions within their communities. Situations like these demand corporate responsibility. Join us to learn more about the vital work being done to hold companies to account around the world.
We will hear from a selection of lawyers and campaigners including corporate accountability expert Richard Hermer, who will be leading the discussion. We will also be taking a forensic look at the situation for environmental rights in Colombia, with the help of human rights defenders Danilo Rueda and Jani Silva, both of whom have received countless threats and attacks for holding corporations to account for destroying the environment. Leigh Day lawyer Richard Meeran will be discussing environmental protection within the context of international claims and group actions. Philanthropist, art dealer and Picasso expert Frederick Mulder CBE will enlighten us on the importance of protecting future generations, and the responsibility of the international community to support environmental rights and their defenders. He will be launching the raffle of a unique Picasso linocut generously donated from his private collection in support of PBI UK’s protection work for human rights defenders.