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Wednesday, December 2 • 15:30 - 17:00
Civil Society and Human Rights Defenders in the Pacific

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Like so many other regions of the world. the Pacific Island region plays host to sectors where the abuse of human rights by business actors is prevalent if not common. Access to land and ocean resources is a major cause of conflict, as corporations look to secure rights to harvest the wealth of the region’s land and oceans. In many cases the companies involved are multinational enterprises that are not based in the Pacific, but who nevertheless have operations there.

This panel will explore these questions with respect to three sectors in particular: forestry, the mining/extractives and fishing. What are the types of pressures that activists in the Pacific face when it comes these sectors? How are human rights defenders in PIC civil society responding to these threats? How can the protection of human rights defenders relate to the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights (UNGPs)? And what can be done to give greater protection to them?

This session aims to:
  • Provide a spotlight on the challenges facing human rights defenders in the Pacific, including the dangers they face;
  • Identify the main causes that are putting human rights defenders at risk; and
  • Begin to discuss how the business and human rights community might begin to create a safer environment for human rights defenders in the Pacific.

Session organized by Dr Luke Fletcher, Jubilee Australia Research Centre.

avatar for Dr Luke Fletcher

Dr Luke Fletcher

Executive Director, Jubilee Australia Research Centre
Jubilee Australia is a research and advocacy organisation that looks at the impact that Australian businesses and government policies have on our neighbours in the region.

avatar for Emmanuel Peni

Emmanuel Peni

Human Rights Defender and Co-ordinator, Project Sepik (PNG)
Author of a book called ‘Sibona’, Manu mostly worked in the Not for Profit Sector. He graduated in the area of Applied Science but mostly worked as a Social Worker and in Management. Manu set up a Community Based Micro Financing Organisation in West Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea... Read More →

Zephaniah Winduo

Environmental & Human Rights Defender, Project Sepik (PNG)
avatar for Andy Shen

Andy Shen

Senior Oceans Adviser, Greenpeace USA
Andy Shen is an international human rights lawyer working as Greenpeace USA's Senior Oceans Adviser and the US project lead for Greenpeace's global fisheries campaign (Pan-Asian Fisheries/Beyond Seafood). He previously worked for the International Labour Organization and the International... Read More →
avatar for Natasha Khan

Natasha Khan

Coordinator, Diploma in Leadership, Governance and Human Rights, University of South Pacific School of Governance
avatar for Alisi Rabukawaqa

Alisi Rabukawaqa

Bua Urban Youth Network/IUCN (Fiji)
avatar for Tevita Naikasowalu

Tevita Naikasowalu

Human, Ecological and Indigenous Rights defender, Human, Ecological and Indigenous Rights defender, Fiji
Mr. Tevita Naikasowalu is currently in the Working Group for Pacific Human Rights Defenders Network, specifically focusing on Indigenous Peoples and the Environment and Ecology. He is also the Coordinator for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Columban Mission Society... Read More →

Wednesday December 2, 2020 15:30 - 17:00 GMT+12
Britannia room 1 Victoria Parade, Suva, Fiji