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'More dangerous every day': Land rights defenders killings surge

作者:admin 2020-08-01

At least 212 people were killed last year while defending their land from being taken over by industry, Global Witness said on Wednesday, making 2019 the deadliest year since the advocacy group began compiling data in 2012.

More than half the killings were in Colombia and the Philippines and Indigenous people made up 40 percent of the victims, the UK-based group said in its annual report. It was a significant rise on 2018, when 164 killings were recorded.

The threat from mining and large-scale agriculture caused the most number of deaths, with these sectors also responsible for worsening climate change effects, Global Witness said.

"Insecure land tenure, irresponsible business practices and government policies that prioritise extractive economies at the cost of human rights are putting people, and their land, at risk," said Rachel Cox, a campaigner at Global Witness.

"Land and environmental defenders play a vital role in protecting climate-critical forests and ecosystems. When they take a stand against the theft of their land, or the destruction of forests, they are increasingly being killed."

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