SLAPPs are simply legal tools that aim to stop citizens from exercising their civil rights or to punish them for having done so.These lawsuits send a clear message: that there is a "price" for speaking out against corporate practices that negatively affect people and the environment.
Originally, the SLAPPphenomenon was a concern only to environmental and community advocates.Now, it targets a wide range of individuals and organizations acting in the public interest, such as civil society advocates, community leaders, journalists, whistleblowers, and citizens in general.
SLAPPs have become a serious threat for media freedom and democratic participation.These lawsuits turn the justice system into a weapon, and have a serious chilling effect on free speech and right to information. Many choose to give up their civil rights if they are not in the position to face the exorbitant claims for damages and allegations designed to intimidate and drain their financial resources.
AsGlobal Citizens, we must respond by taking action to defend these activists.If SLAPP suites are allowed to silence human rights defenders, more people, particularly marginalized and minority groups will be pushed further into poverty. Take the quiz to find out why we must work together to defend human rights.