The Brazilian NGO Justiça nos Trilhos will receive the inaugural award from the Human Rights and Business Award Foundation, the recently-formed foundation announced today. The award, which is accompanied by a $50,000 grant, is made in recognition of “outstanding work by human rights defenders in the Global South or former Soviet Union addressing the human rights impacts of business in those regions”.
As the foundation states in its press release:
Justiça nos Trilhos is an organization working closely with local communities in remote parts of Brazil – including indigenous peoples, peasants, and Afro-descendants – to address human rights and environmental abuses by mining and steel companies, in particular the multinational Vale.
Mining and steel companies have polluted the rivers on which these people depend for drinking water and their livelihoods, polluted the air causing respiratory and eyesight problems, contaminated the soil with industrial waste, displaced communities, and decimated the cultures and lives of indigenous peoples.
The foundation notes:
The human rights defenders of Justiça nos Trilhos, and the local communities they work with, have been subjected to surveillance and retaliatory lawsuits by Vale.
Information about the Vale mining company is available here. Two stories about the work of Justiça nos Trilhos, the first of which includes Vale’s responses:
- “Confronting asymmetrical power: Empowering Brazil’s rural communities to assert their legal rights & challenge corporate impunity – Interview with Danilo Chammas – lawyer and activist for Justiça nos Trilhos”, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Mar 2015.
- “BRAZIL: How much are human rights worth in the Brazilian mining and steel industry?” FIDH, Justiça Global and Justiça nos Trilhos, 2011.
Session on Tuesday at UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
Danilo Chammas, a lawyer at Justiça nos Trilhos, will accept the award on behalf of the organization at a session being held at the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva on Tuesday 27 November. The session “will be an interactive learning and discussion opportunity, linking the particular experiences of the award recipient and the lessons learned through those experiences to the Forum’s priority issues including human rights due diligence, sector-focused challenges, and the UN Guiding Principles [on Business and Human Rights]”.
Human Rights & Business Award – Human rights defenders in the Global South
– Tuesday 27 Nov, 18:15-19:45, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
– The session’s objectives, key discussion questions, and discussants: here
The Business and Human Rights Award Foundation was established by the founder of the award-winning Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Chris Avery. The foundation website was launched today in eight languages.
Press release announcing the 2018 Business and Human Rights Award:
- English: First-ever recipient of Human Rights and Business Award named
- español: Se ha nombrado al primer ganador del Premio de Derechos Humanos y Empresas
- français: Annonce du premier lauréat du Prix Entreprises et Droits Humains
- português: Pela primeira vez, foi concedido o PRÊMIO DIREITOS HUMANOS E EMPRESAS
- العربية (Arabic): مؤسسة جائزة حقوق الإنسان والأعمال
- русский (Russian): Объявлен первый в истории лауреат премии ”Права человека и бизнес”
- 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese): 人权与商业奖首位获奖者已公布
繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese): 人權與商業獎首位獲獎者已公佈