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Business News/ News / India/  India, Brazil among most dangerous places for activists? Here's what report shows
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India, Brazil among most dangerous places for activists? Here's what report shows

Other countries included on the list included Cambodia with 40 recorded attacks in 2022, Philippines with 32 attacks and Honduras with 31 attacks against activists.

Brazil topped the list with recorded 63 attacks against activists in 2022, followed by India with 54 attacks and Mexico with 44 attacks. (Image: AFP)Premium
Brazil topped the list with recorded 63 attacks against activists in 2022, followed by India with 54 attacks and Mexico with 44 attacks. (Image: AFP)

A report released by UK-based Business & Human Rights Resource Centre puts India and Brazil as among the most dangerous places in the world for human rights and labour activists with protests against corporate abuses often met with state-backed violence.

As per the report, Brazil topped the list with recorded 63 attacks against activists in 2022, followed by India with 54 attacks and Mexico with 44 attacks.

Other countries included on the list are Cambodia with 40 recorded attacks in 2022, Philippines with 32 attacks and Honduras with 31 attacks, as per the report as cited by Aljazeera. Some other countries like Belarus, Peru, Colombia and Uganda were also in the list.

Apart from this, the report also more than 550 attacks were recorded world wide in 2022 of which 75 percent were linked to people protecting land, climate or environmental rights while one-fifth attacks were against Indigenous activists. 

The report also mentioned Mining as the most dangerous industry with 30 percent attacks or about 165, further adding that though it was difficult to identify the perpetrators of the attacks, 235 incidents or about 43 percent of cases were linked to multinational company or their subsidiaries.

The report mentioned companies like India's JSW Steel, UAE's Otterlo Business Corp, French oil company TotalEnergies, Inversiones los Pinares and Cambodia's gaming company NagaWorld.

The report added that India had huge amount of companies linked to attacks. Speaking of India's JSW Steel, since 2018 activist have opposed the company's plans to construct a steel plant in Odisha as it would pose threat to environment and residents’ health. Activists also mentioned that the plant would threaten to displace traditional industries like betel vine farming.

Villagers have protested against the plan and more than 1,000 residents and activists were arrested, the report stated.

In a statement, JSW Steel in response to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre said "the Government of Odisha had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with POSCO of South Korea in June,2005 for establishment of a 12 MTPA Integrated Steel Plant in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha with a Captive Port. The Project required 4004 acres of land including 437 acres of private land spreading over eight revenue villages. The Central Government accorded forest clearance in May, 2011. Subsequently the betel vines were removed by the District Administration and IDCO (Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation) which is the agency of the State Government to make the land encroachment-free. The land which was made encroachment-free was handed over to IDCO.

In 2017, JSW proposed to set up a steel plant over lesser land – (3160 acres) at the same location with the same capacity. Out of the total land requirement of 3160acres only 2.26 Ac is private land. The land owners have already given their consent for handing over the private land with permission from district administration. After the permission to utilize the forest land for establishment of the Steel Plant, from the MoEF&CC, District Administration started the process of alienation of Govt land, it added.

Further stating, the company said, “The name of the people mentioned in the mail, and referred as HRDs are from the village Dhinkia. It may be noted that, only 45 acres of the Government land from village Dhinkia are included in the project as against the total land requirement of 3160acres. There is not a single displacement from the Dhinkia village. Contrary to the claim of the Dhinkia, the rest of the villages are happy with the R&R and the project activity that would provide soci-economic improvement of the area."

“It won’t be prudent on the part of the company to comment on the police actions which is beyond JSW’s control, however it may please be noted that in any country, whether developed, developing or under developed, nobody has the right to take the law into their own hand; if such a situation arises the police maintain the law and order of the society," JSW Steel added.

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Published: 04 May 2023, 09:24 AM IST
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