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.
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.
Richard Hermer is an Alliance for Lawyers at Risk member and Corporate Accountability Expert at Matrix chambers. His practice spans public and private law litigation within both the domestic and international spheres. He has been instructed in many of the most high profile cases heard by the English Courts over the past decade. He was called to the Bar in 1993 and took silk in 2009. He is recognised in the major legal directories as a leading practitioner in all his practice areas.
Richard Meeran joined Leigh Day in 1990 to work on the firm’s pioneering case against the Sellafield nuclear plant. He was made a partner in 1991 and was instrumental in developing the firm’s ethos to make multinational corporations accountable for their exploitation of workers. Richard is a member of the Drafting Team of The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration. He is on the advisory board of Business and Human Rights Journal.
Jani Silva is a Community leader from Putumayo department of southern Colombia. She is part of the Integral Sustainable Development Association Perla Amazonica (ADISPA). In 2000 peasant communities created the Campesino Reserve Zone ‘Perla Amazonica’ in Putumayo. Jani and ADISPA work to defend this remote amazon region against oil extraction. Jani has led the community struggle against the oil companies operations, denouncing human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law.
Danilo Rueda is the Executive Secretary of The NGO Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP), a church-based human rights organisation working to expose human rights violations committed in the conflict regions of Colombia by state security forces and paramilitary groups. The CIJP has defended human rights in Colombia for over 31 years.
Frederick Mulder CBE is an art dealer and philanthropist. He is the founder of the Frederick Mulder Foundation, a charitable trust that focuses on combating climate change and global poverty, and has been a generous donor to PBI for many years. In 2005, the The Beacon Fellowship awarded Mulder with the Judges’ Special Beacon Prize for his philanthropic work, and in 2012 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to philanthropy.