How can the Church and the EU support Human Rights defenders in the Amazon?

In preparation for the October 2019 Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, COMECE held on 19 June 2019 a dialogue meeting between EU policy makers and Church and civil society representatives on human rights defenders in the Amazon region.

Discussing the respective roles of the Church and the EU in addressing the environmental, social and human rights concerns in the region, this event allowed participants to exchange with Mr. José Batista Afonso, lawyer of the Brazilian Bishops’ Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT).

Mr. Batista has recently been awarded a Human Rights Prize by the EU for his long-standing defence of the land and Human Rights of rural people in South-Eastern Brazilian Amazon region.

Organised together with CIDSE and CAFOD, the meeting analysed ways to support indigenous communities to access land and protect the Amazonian cultural and natural heritage in the context of the ongoing negotiations on EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, thereview of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy and the discussions on a UN binding treaty on Business and Human Rights.

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