Investor Statement on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation
Human rights defenders are at the forefront of protecting our rights and shared planet and play an invaluable role in fostering corporate respect for human rights. They contribute to a free, open, and enabling environment, where civic freedoms and the rule of law are upheld, an important condition for business investment.
Unfortunately, defenders are increasingly endangered. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has recorded more than 3,000 attacks worldwide against defenders who have raised the alarm about irresponsible business practices. Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are one tactic deployed to stop defenders from raising concerns about these practices. Investors are not immune from these risks and have also faced SLAPP suits.
Through an Investor Statement on SLAPPs, 44 institutions with more than 270 billion USD of combined assets, call on companies to take broad, systemic action to protect human rights defenders, and immediate action to ensure that they do not use or support SLAPPs against individuals, organizations, or communities who peacefully promote or protect human rights and the environment.