Exploitation of natural resources often arises in ways that violate the human rights and fundamental freedom of local communities.

When communities start organising themselves to defend their rights, they find themselves opposing powerful private and public interests. Community leaders and members may become the targets of harassment, threats and even aggression.

The involvement of national and transnational corporations adds a layer of complexity. As well as the fact that many of the projects take place in remote and rural areas. Isolation adds an important factor to the risk that human rights defenders face. They lack access to authorities that should offer protection.

Protection International works with those human rights defenders in such communities, supporting them in the development of their security and protection strategies and in finding available authorities to protect. In Latin America, Protection International has assisted with the creation of protection networks among communities affected mining projects. Experiences have been analysed and are now shared with defenders in comparable contexts in Asia and Africa.