Research shows 34% rise in attacks against campaigners defending land, environment and labour rights in the face of corporate activity
Human rights defenders who challenge big corporations are being killed, assaulted, harassed and suppressed in growing numbers, researchers have claimed.
A survey by the Business and Human Rights Resource Center recorded a 34% global rise in attacks against human rights activists last year, including 120 alleged murders and hundreds of other cases involving threats, assaults and intimidation. The number of incidents were found to have risen sharply, with 388 attacks recorded in 2017 compared with 290 the previous year.
Colombia’s farmers can hope again after bloody decades of civil war – but they’re not relying on politicians to help them
Don José Manuel Suarez has seen some things. Father of seven and grandfather of 15, his 80 years have been spent farming a patch of land that has also been a battleground in the longest civil war in modern history. At an outdoor meeting of a co-operative of banana farmers in Ciénaga, near the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, Don José Manuel sits in one shady corner of a clearing, patiently waiting his turn to speak. The other men and women are his old friends and neighbours. The question I’ve asked them is this: what have been the worst of times, and what the best?
In the hot morning sun, among the creaking plants hung with clenched hands of green bananas, the answers to the first part of that question have come thick and fast.
Work has ruled our lives for centuries, and it does so today more than ever. But a new generation of thinkers insists there is an alternative. By Andy Beckett
Work is the master of the modern world. For most people, it is impossible to imagine society without it. It dominates and pervades everyday life – especially in Britain and the US – more completely than at any time in recent history. An obsession with employability runs through education. Even severely disabled welfare claimants are required to be work-seekers. Corporate superstars show off their epic work schedules. “Hard-working families” are idealised by politicians. Friends pitch each other business ideas. Tech companies persuade their employees that round-the-clock work is play. Gig economy companies claim that round-the-clock work is freedom. Workers commute further, strike less, retire later. Digital technology lets work invade leisure.
In all these mutually reinforcing ways, work increasingly forms our routines and psyches, and squeezes out other influences. As Joanna Biggs put it in her quietly disturbing 2015 book All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work, “Work is … how we give our lives meaning when religion, party politics and community fall away.”