Defending Land and Environmental Defenders Coalition (DD Coalition)

Land and environmental defenders face growing threats around the world. Over the last three years, approximately 200 individuals defending the right to a healthy environment and territory have been killed each year. Defenders continue to be criminalized and subjected to violent attacks - including murder - within a shrinking operating space for civil society.

The DD Coalition works to build protection skills among defenders, strengthen government and business safeguards for defenders, and protect civil society actors who are addressing root causes of threats and attacks on defenders.

By sharing experiences, we minimize duplication and maximize impact. Within the Coalition, some organizations have extensive experience responding to acute attacks and helping individuals and organizations build resilience. Others have experience advocating with businesses and governments to protect defenders.

We are learning about what resources already exist to support defenders, and sharing knowledge about how to access those resources. We are supporting members' initiatives to improve safeguards and protections mechanisms, and so amplify their impact.

In 2019-2020, the Coalition aims to:

  • Share learning and build protection skills for defenders around the world;
  • Launch a web portal with support resources for defenders at the international level and in four pilot countries;
  • Support member initiatives to collect data on criminalization, threats and attacks against defenders, in addition to data on killings already collected;
  • Promote ratification of the Escazu Agreement in Latin America, which includes and requires strong protections for defenders;
  • Work with diplomatic missions to improve protections for defenders and emergency support;
  • Work with businesses to integrate strong protections for defenders into policies and practices;
  • Analyze existing commitments and policies by business and governments to protect defenders and implementation of those policies and commitments;
  • Facilitate broad and rapid response to emergencies by providing a forum for individuals and organizations to reach out to intermediary support organizations;

The DD Coalition Steering Committee facilitates collaboration among members. Steering Committee members are indicated below with bold text.

Participating Organizations

International Organizations

 


350.org

 

Our Mission
350.org uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. 350's network extends across more than 100 countries.

How we support Defenders
We support local groups that are campaigning around climate change (in the broad sense: this may at times also include environmental or land defenders) to build their resilience and capacity to reduce security risks. We provide crisis response support at times of need - whether it is practical support, solidarity, or putting pressure on the perpetrators or authorities.

We work with partners and coalitions to push back against the closing of civic space for activism and protest.


American Bar Association (ABA)

Our Mission
The American Bar Association’s mission is to serve equally our members, our profession and the public by defending liberty and delivering justice as the national representative of the legal profession.

How we support Defenders
The ABA’s Center for Human Rights promotes and protects human rights worldwide — mobilizing lawyers to help threatened advocates; rallying thought leaders on vital issues; and holding abusive governments accountable. The Justice Defenders Program defends human rights advocates from harassment. We take down legal barriers to advocacy, mobilize the global legal community, and hold governments accountable for restricting human rights activities. We address:

  • Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly:
    The ABA Justice Defenders supports human rights defenders -- including journalists and labor activists -- working to amend laws that restrict these rights and to challenge them in court.
  • Fair Trial Rights:
    The Justice Defenders Program observes trials and other proceedings to discourage the misuse of legal processes against defenders and provides technical assistance to local counsel representing defenders.
  • Business & Human Rights:
    The Center works with local partners facing threats to develop innovative strategies to document abuses, form cross-sectoral coalitions, build public support and engage key stakeholders to increase respect for human rights in business operations. Additionally, the Center helps activists to obtain protection when facing violent threats.
  • Misuse of Terrorism Charges Against Defenders:
    The Program has analyzed various national counter terrorism laws, outlining the problematic provisions of these laws that open them up to abuse.
  • Independence of the Judicial & Legal Profession:
    The Program has supported threatened attorneys, prosecutors and judges in over twelve different countries on every continent. Our efforts and support resulted in the activists' releases from prison, dropped charges, improved conditions of confinement, increased protective measures, reinstatement to the bench, decreased restrictions on the independence of the bar and increased investigations into violent attacks against lawyers.
  • Protecting Defenders Against Violence:
    The Program supports Defenders by petitioning international bodies to obtain protective measures (such as court-ordered bodyguards), referring them to organizations that provide funds for physical security and psychosocial support, raising their public profile where appropriate, engaging local authorities to investigate threats and hold officials accountable when they fail to investigate credible threats or are complicit in such threats.

 


Article 19

Our Mission
ARTICLE 19 works for a world where all people everywhere can freely express themselves and actively engage in public life without fear of discrimination.

How we support Defenders
We do this by working on two interlocking freedoms which set the foundation for all our work:

  • The Freedom to Speak concerns everyone’s right to express and disseminate opinions, ideas and information through any means, as well as to disagree with, and question power-holders.
  • The Freedom to Know concerns the right to demand and receive information by power-holders for transparency, good governance and sustainable development.

When either of these freedoms comes under threat, either by the failure of power-holders to adequately protect them, ARTICLE 19 speaks with one voice, through courts of law, through global and regional organisations, and through civil society wherever we are present.


Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Our Mission
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is an international human rights organization with the mission of empowering advocates, strengthen corporate accountability and build corporate transparency in the field of business and human rights. Our approach is focused on impact; collaborative; independent; fair and objective; and we go beyond the headlines.

How we support Defenders
While we cover over 180 human rights issues, we currently focus on work on three priority areas:

  • Labour Rights: a focus on the two clusters – (1) modern slavery, trafficking, refugees and migrants; and (2) decent work, living wage, freedom of association, and social dialogue;
  • Responsible Resource Use: a focus on land and water grabs in extractives; the impact of carbon majors; and building human rights into renewable companies;
  • Protection of Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders: We help protect human rights defenders threatened by unscrupulous companies, including many environmental defenders;

Within that third priority area, we have developed a comprehensive programme of work over the last 2 years which includes:

We have also recently launched a report entitled: "Shared space under pressure: Business support for civic freedoms and human rights defenders – Guidance for Companies". The full report is available here and Executive Summary here. The guidance draws on over 90 interviews with experts from the private sector, civil society, government and others, setting forth the normative responsibility, business case and moral choice that companies should consider in the face of these growing pressures. It proposes a framework to guide companies as they decide whether and how to act and identifies multiple examples of actions and collaborations with civil society.


Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

Our Mission
Since 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) has used the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL seeks a world where the law reflects the interconnection between humans and the environment, respects the limits of the planet, protects the dignity and equality of each person, and encourages all of earth’s inhabitants to live in balance with each other.

How we support Defenders
CIEL has a long track record of assisting such communities in bringing international attention and international action to their concerns. We work closely with communities in developing and using international processes and international law to protect their environment and defend their human rights. As a core element of this approach, we support the development of capacity within communities to assert and defend their own rights. We work to continually expand and strengthen international grievance processes for when rights have been violated and to grow the pool of communities and activists schooled in their use.


Civicus

Our Mission
CIVICUS is a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world.

How we support Defenders
Our work is guided by our three strategic goals, which reflect our belief that people-powered and collective action is at the centre of transformative change.

  • Defending civic freedoms and democratic values:
    We defend the fundamental civic freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression in all countries by providing activists with emergency and sustained support; tracking civic space trends globally; incubating and sharing new ways to counter threats to civic space.
  • Strengthening the power of people to organise, mobilise and take action:
    We support people and their organisations to monitor progress and hold governments accountable. We facilitate citizens and civil society to influence global governance reform processes, demand spaces for citizens to advise decision makers, and push new and reforming international organisations to put people and their needs at the centre.
  • Empowering a more accountable, effective and innovative civil society:
    Our strategic plan for the upcoming 5 years includes exploring new funding and operational models that shift more resources to the advocacy, accountability and human rights work of civil society actors in the global south who are often on the frontline of social transformation.

The CIVICUS alliance is launching the first cycle of the CIVICUS Solidarity Fund (CSF), a member-led and member-resourced mechanism that provides both flexible and rapid response funds. The fund is accessible to a broad spectrum of constituents that normally struggle to access resources and support due to restrictions in the space where they operate, their organising characteristics, or simply who they are and what they challenge. In addition to financial support, members accessing the Fund are assisted with tools, mentorship, visibility and knowledge sharing.

The objectives of the CIVICUS Solidarity Fund are to:

  • Enhance solidarity within the alliance, foster a sense of belonging to a global movement for change;
  • Support civil society diversity and resilience, especially among smaller, non-formal actors;
  • Create opportunities where they do not exist for change-seeking actors to contribute to a more just, inclusive and sustainable world;

Coalition for Human Rights in Development

Our Mission
The Coalition for Human Rights in Development is a global coalition of social movements, civil society organizations, and grassroots groups working together to ensure that development is community-led and that it respects, protects, and fulfills human rights. We do so by making sure that communities have the information, power and resources to determine their own development paths and priorities and to hold development finance institutions, governments, and other actors accountable for their impacts on people, peoples and the planet.

How we support Defenders
The Defenders in Development Campaign engages in capacity building and collective action to ensure that communities and marginalized groups have the information, resources, protection and power to shape, participate in, or oppose development activities, and to hold development financiers, governments and companies accountable. We utilize advocacy and campaigning to change how development banks and other actors operate and to ensure that they respect human rights and guarantee a safe enabling environment for public participation.

The Campaign is made up of defenders and those who work with them on issues of development and human rights - community organizations, human rights and environmental groups, defender security organizations, transparency and accountability NGOs, and indigenous peoples and women's networks. It is hosted by the Coalition for Human Rights in Development. You can find the Campaign Declaration and list of participant organizations here.


Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP)

Our Mission
Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) works to increase the safety of human rights defenders under (digital) threat or attack, and improve the effectiveness of the digital emergency response network.

How we support Defenders
Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) provides grants to human rights defenders and organisations to address urgent digital emergency situations. For example, a website or email being hacked, or the theft or loss of sensitive data and equipment. Longer-term grants are provided to organisations that face threats due to the work they are doing. This grant could cover a training of staff members, internet infrastructure in the office, or setting up secure data storage systems for sensitive files. In addition to the grants, DDP has a Digital Security Fellowship, where organisations around the world receive personalised digital security trainings and support for a sustained period of time. The Rapid Response Network is also coordinated by DDP, through providing financial and logistic assistance to improve the quality and effectiveness of emergency response.


EarthRights International (ERI)

Our Mission
EarthRights International (ERI) combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, which we define as “earth rights.” We specialize in fact-finding, legal actions against perpetrators of earth rights abuses, training grassroots and community leaders, and advocacy campaigns. We have offices in Thailand, Myanmar, Peru, and the United States. In all of these locations, we work with local activists who face threats in the course of their work defending human rights and the environment.

How we support Defenders
We incorporate environmental and human rights defender issues into several elements of our work:

  • Legal cases and campaigns on behalf of defenders who face threats from multinational corporations;
  • Legal training programs for activists and public interest lawyers in the Mekong, Myanmar, and Peru;
  • Our “Faces of Change” project, a human rights storytelling initiative that provides a safe space for activists and survivors of human rights abuses to tell their stories;
  • Our leadership role in the “Protect the Protest” task force, a newly formed coalition of U.S. NGOs that seeks to end the threat of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs);

Environmental Defender Law Center (EDLC)

Our Mission
The Environmental Defender Law Center (EDLC) is a non-profit organization that works to protect the human rights of people in developing countries who are fighting to protect their environment. EDLC was created in 2003 to provide a range of legal services to environmental defenders, especially by finding private lawyers to work for free on their behalf.

How we support Defenders
EDLC identifies cases where environmental defenders need and want legal assistance, and helps them without charge by Finding Lawyers, Providing Resources, and Giving Grants. EDLC specializes in cases of international significance, where innovative legal strategies can be developed and later replicated to help other environmental defenders. EDLC is funded exclusively by foundation grants and individual donations.


Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

Our Mission
Protecting the environment with intelligence.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) works to achieve tangible changes in the global economy that make local and sustainable management of the world’s natural resources possible.

How we support Defenders


Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide

Our Mission
The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) helps communities speak out for clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet. We are a global alliance of attorneys, scientists and other advocates collaborating across borders to promote grassroots efforts to build a sustainable, just future.

How we support Defenders
For nearly 30 years, the ELAW Secretariat has intervened when our lawyer partners are threatened or attacked.  The actions we have taken include:

  • Engaging international human rights watchdogs like the UN Special Processes, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and domestic human rights bodies;
  • Activating our global network to pressure governments and industry actors to protect our partners;
  • Providing emergency financial support to partner organizations for medical needs and staffing when partners are taken out of action temporarily;
  • Evacuating our partners in high-risk circumstances for short-term stays in our office;
  • Helping our partners defend against SLAPPs;

We have expanded our work in this program to include skillshares for our global network on personal and digital protection strategies.  We strive to protect our partners, deter attacks, and build resilience among attorney partners and the communities they represent to withstand organizational and personal attacks. 


Forest Peoples Program

Our Mission
The Forest Peoples Programme supports forest peoples and indigenous organisations to promote an alternative vision of how forests should be managed, based on respect for the rights, knowledge, cultures and identities of the peoples who know them best.

Through advocacy, practical projects and capacity building, we support forest peoples to deal directly with the outside powers that shape their lands, lives and futures, envisioning a day when forests are owned and controlled by the people within them, ensuring sustainable livelihoods, equity and well-being for future generations.

How we support Defenders
Forest Peoples Programme is a human rights organisation working with forest peoples across the globe to secure their rights to their lands and their livelihoods. We work alongside more than 60 partner organisations representing indigenous peoples and forest communities from across the globe.

Our strategic approaches include:

  • Self-determination:
    Supporting and advancing the exercise of self-determination by indigenous and forest peoples by strengthening community governance, mobilisation and representation, and the creation and use of political spaces where indigenous and forest peoples' voices can be heard.
  • Access to Justice:
    Ensuring access to justice by developing and using accountability and redress mechanisms in both public and private institutions that are directly accessible to indigenous and forest peoples and their communities.
  • Legal and Policy Reform:
    Partnered advocacy towards legal and policy reform and the development of best practice and standards consistent with indigenous and forest peoples' rights in international law.
  • Building Solidarity:
    Networking, sharing information and building solidarity for coordinated action among a wide range of actors.

Front Line Defenders

Our Mission
The mission of Front Line Defenders is to protect and support human rights defenders who are at risk as a result of their human rights work.

How we support Defenders
Front Line Defenders provides rapid and practical support to human rights defenders at risk through:

  • International advocacy on behalf of human rights defenders at risk, including emergency support for those in immediate danger;
  • Grants to pay for the practical security needs of human rights defenders;
  • Trainings and resource materials on security and protection, including digital security;
  • Rest, respite and other opportunities for human rights defenders dealing with extreme stress;
  • Opportunities for networking and exchange between human rights defenders, including at the biennial Dublin Platform;
  • The annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk;
  • An emergency 24-hour phone line for human rights defenders operating in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish;

Global Greengrants Fund

Our Mission
Global Greengrants Fund mobilizes resources for communities worldwide to protect our shared planet and work toward a more equitable world.

How we support Defenders
To get money into the hands of people with the most effective solutions, Global Greengrants designed a grantmaking model that allows us to find and invest in ideas without bureaucracy or red tape. We offer a 25-year track record of success funding decisions made by our trusted network of dedicated volunteer experts, who act as our eyes and ears on the ground. They deliver knowledge of context and first-hand expertise, connecting our resources to local solutions that promote environmental justice. As a result, we are able to work in some of the most remote corners of the world, with groups and individuals who lack access to money through other means. For at least 40 percent of our grantees, Global Greengrants Fund is their very first funder.

We catalyze grassroots-level solutions by putting resources directly in the hands of the best stewards of our environment— local people.

Our action areas are:

  • Climate Justice
  • Healthy Ecosystems and Communities
  • Local Livelihoods
  • Right to Land, Water, and Resources
  • Women’s Environmental Action

Global Witness

Our Mission
Global Witness campaigns to end environmental and human rights abuses driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system. We use investigations and hard-hitting advocacy to bring about change.

How we support Defenders
Our land and environmental defenders campaign began in 2012 after the killing of our ex-colleague Chut Wutty in Cambodia. Since then we have documented how many people are murdered for defending their land and environmental rights globally each year. We produce an annual report compiling the cases with analysis on industry drivers and geographical trends. We also produce this data in real time through a collaboration with the Guardian newspaper. Secondly we investigate the root causes and perpetrators of attacks against LEDs in certain priority countries, most recently in Honduras. Finally, we push for reforms in policies and practices regarding defenders in international mechanisms.   


Goldman Environmental Prize

Our Mission
The Goldman Environmental Prize honors the achievements and leadership of grassroots environmental activists from around the world, inspiring all of us to take action to protect our planet.

How we support Defenders
The Goldman Environmental Prize honors grassroots environmental heroes from the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. The Goldman Prize views “grassroots” leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.

The Goldman Prize amplifies the voices of these grassroots leaders and provides them with:

  • International recognition that enhances their credibility;
  • Worldwide visibility for the issues they champion;
  • Financial support to pursue their vision of a renewed and protected environment;

Hivos

Our Mission
Hivos seeks new and creative solutions to persistent global problems; solutions created by people taking their lives into their own hands.

We offer a positive counterbalancing force against discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Our mission is to innovate for social change. With smart projects in the right places, we work towards more open and green societies.

How we support Defenders
We have two main areas of action:

  • Open society:
    Our ideal world guarantees freedom, diversity and equal opportunities for all. Its societies are open to everyone and respectful of differing opinions. Power can be challenged and redefined. In such a world all people have the same rights, irrespective of gender, beliefs or sexual orientation.
    In the open society domain, we work on freedom and accountability; women’s empowerment; and sexual rights and diversity. The free exchange of information, freedom of expression and the ability of citizens to influence decisions that affect them are essential in an open society. Everyone should be able to be who they are, whether they are male, female, gay, straight. Moreover, everyone should have the freedom to believe and say what they want, to challenge governments and influence the established order. As one’s freedom only ends where another person’s freedom begins.
  • Green society:
    Our ideal is a green world – a world in which people use natural resources sustainably and to the benefit of all. If our energy and food supply were truly sustainable, not only would we be taking care of our planet but we would also be sharing everything it has to offer more equally.
    In our aim for more green societies, Hivos supports transitions towards renewable energy and diverse, resilient, fair and sustainable food systems. Hivos and its partners demonstrate that renewable energy is not a dream, but feasible and simply the best choice. Providing access to sufficient, affordable and healthy food to all, in particular for low-income consumers, can create substantial economic opportunities and generate positive environmental returns.
    Defend the defenders is a transversal strategic of our programs. We have projects with components on safety and security in all the regions we work in.

Huairou Commission

Our Mission
The mission of the Huairou Commission is empowering grassroots women leaders to strengthen their community development practices and to transform public policies at local, national, regional and global levels.

The goal of our collective action is to institutionalize grassroots women’s public leadership. This means ensuring that grassroots women are driving forces in setting the public agenda and standards of political accountability in the context of poverty reduction and equitable and sustainable development along the urban/rural continuum.

How we support Defenders
The Huairou Commission supports grassroots women’s organizations to directly put their needs and those of their communities at the center of the development process. Members focus on leadership development, equitable and sustainable development practices, network building, and policy change as a prerequisite for effective poverty reduction. Our community empowers grassroots women to create new development paradigms by increasing their roles in the process and advancing their goals from a position of strengthened influence and power.


Human Rights Watch

Our Mission
Human Rights Watch exposes human rights abuses like torture, violence against women, and child exploitation. In order to maintain our independence, we accept no money from any government.

How we support Defenders

  • Investigate:
    Our researchers work in the field in 100 some countries, uncovering facts that create an undeniable record of human rights abuses.
  • Expose:
    We tell the stories of what we found, sharing them with millions of social media and online followers each day. News media often report on our investigations, furthering our reach.
  • Change:
    We meet with governments, the United Nations, rebel groups, corporations, and others to see that policy is changed, laws are enforced, and justice is served.

The ICCA Consortium

Our Mission
The Association ICCA Consortium is established to promote the appropriate recognition of, and support to, indigenous peoples’ and community conserved areas and territories (ICCAs) at local, national and international levels.
This purpose is set in the context of the broader vision of conserving biodiversity and ecological functions, nurturing the sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing of indigenous peoples and local communities, and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples— including self-determination and the full respect of their cultural diversity and collective and individual rights and responsibilities.

How we support Defenders
Our work spans multiple levels, including supporting communities' self-strengthening processes at the local level and networking, peer support and advocacy at national, regional and international levels (including in the fields of human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights, environmental law, sustainable development, etc.).

The ICCA Consortium has been developing a policy and programme of work on "Defending territories of life and their defenders". Under this draft policy, the ICCA Consortium (in collaboration with strategic allies and partners) strives to:

  • Actively defend ICCAs—territories of life from harm, particularly from externally driven natural-resource intensive activities, in full concert and solidarity with their custodian indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • Actively support and defend custodians and defenders of territories of life and stand in solidarity with them as they assert and secure their rights and responsibilities to govern, manage and conserve their territories and areas, including those who wish to independently self-declare their territories and areas as “no go” areas for certain harmful activities.
  • Enhance the capacities of our Members to recognise and stand up to threats and harms to territories of life and their defenders, including by facilitating access to practical mechanisms and tools to secure their rights, continue their work without interference and harm, monitor compliance, and seek redress and justice in the case of violations.
  • Highlight and demonstrate (economic and livelihood) alternatives to the mainstream economic systems that threaten and harm territories of life and their defenders with impunity.
  • Advance global, national and local systems of rights and responsibilities and foster an enabling environment in support of territories of life and their defenders, including through multiple complementary forms of legal and non-legal recognition and support.

International Land Coalition (ILC)

Our Mission
The International Land Coalition (ILC) is a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organisations working together to put people at the centre of land governance.

How we support Defenders
The ILC’s Commitment 10 (“protected land rights defenders”) seeks to respect and protect the civil and political rights of human rights defenders working on land issues, combat the stigmatization and criminalisation of peaceful protest and land rights activism, and end impunity for human rights violations, including harassment, threats, violence and political imprisonment. The ILC works on Commitment 10 through coordinated advocacy and campaigning, legal assistance, legal empowerment, and access to justice.
The ILC expresses solidarity to land rights defenders through various initiatives, but also works with a small Land Defenders Fund for ILC members put at risk because of their work.

The ILC's Dashboard, a land monitoring tool for people-centered land governance, has three indicators by which Coalition members are collecting data on land rights defenders. One indicator measures the legal framework in place to protect land rights defenders, a second indicator measures the effectiveness of protective measures and levels of impunity. With DDC partners, a third indicator was developed to collect data on violations against LEDs, including the perpetrators, drivers behind such violations, and ongoing trends in criminalization.

ILC en América Latina

América Latina y el Caribe

La ILC implementa -a través de sus miembros en cada región- una Iniciativa Regional que contribuye a alcanzar lo previsto por la Estrategia Global de la ILC en lo relacionado con su Compromiso 10. Es así que -con mayor énfasis desde fines del 2017- en ALC, bajo la coordinación de un miembro punto focal (CODECA, Guatemala) y con el apoyo de la Unidad de Coordinación  Regional (UCR) de la ILC (basada en Lima, Perù) se viene implementado una iniciativa regional con el involucramiento de al menos 5 países. La Iniciativa (o CBI por sus siglas en inglés) opera articulando a las organizaciones de defensa y protección de defensores de la región; movilizando información, capacidades e interaprendizaje entre estas, y desarrollando estrategias y acciones de incidencia con miras a generar políticas de protección y el cese de la impunidad y la criminalización. El Fondo de Emergencia de LAC funciona en forma paralela desde fines del 2016 bajo la coordinación de la UCR LAC.


International Rivers

Our Mission
International Rivers protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them. We work to stop destructive dams and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world.

How we support Defenders

  • Building the Movement and Empowering Civil Society:
    We foster grassroots organizations in more than 60 countries and promote the leadership of our regional partners by providing technical and strategic advice, and bringing them together at international meetings.
  • Changing the Terms of the Debate:
    We work to reform the top-down, opaque decision-making processes that traditionally accompany large infrastructure projects. We provide critical analysis for dam opponents and ensure that important social and environmental issues aren’t ignored. We make sure that communities meaningfully participate in decisions that affect them, and bring their concerns to the attention of dam funders. We seek to block the hydropower industry’s efforts to exploit concerns over climate change, and raise awareness of greenhouse gas emissions from dam reservoirs and the impact of climate change on the performance and safety of dams.
  • Stopping Destructive Projects and Addressing Legacies:
    We coordinate international campaigns to discourage financial, government and industry support of harmful river projects. We hold responsible parties accountable for the damages caused by dams by advocating for social reparations, ecological restoration and decommissioning of existing dams.
  • Raising Awareness:
    Through publications, presentations and media outreach, we raise the visibility of the deplorable environmental, economic and human rights impacts of large dams and the viability of better options. We provide information on a wide range of water and energy issues and connect journalists with people directly affected by destructive river projects.
  • Promoting Solutions:
    We generate awareness that efficiency and small-scale, decentralized and renewable solutions are essential for meeting water and energy needs, alleviating poverty and protecting the planet. We promote the best water and energy options and the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams for energy and water planning.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Our Mission

The mission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

How we support Defenders
The IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN has evolved into the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its 1,300 Member organisations and the input of 14,500 experts. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. Our experts are organised into six commissions dedicated to species survival, environmental law, protected areas, social and economic policy, ecosystem management, and education and communication.


International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)

Our Mission
The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) works for a world where indigenous peoples’ voices are heard and their rights are implemented.

How we support Defenders
IWGIA is supporting indigenous peoples and collaborating with them to protect and defend their rights at the global and local level. One example of such collaboration is in Nepal, where we have collaborated with Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) since 2013. IWGIA has supported LAHURNIP to set up a network of Indigenous Human Rights Defenders in all the regions of Nepal. Our collaboration has included capacity development in terms of documentation, community organising, lobby/advocacy of Indigenous Peoples Rights Defenders etc.

To address how we can tackle the criminalisation of indigenous peoples, IWGIA hosted an international conference entitled “Defending the Defenders: New alliances for protecting indigenous peoples’ rights” in September 2018.

The objectives of the conference were to gather a broad range of relevant actors (including indigenous rights defenders) to get a better understanding of the key drivers behind this alarming trend and identify possible actions at the international, regional and national levels that could help change the situation and protect indigenous rights defenders.


Land is Life

Our Mission
Since 1992, we have built a trusted, global network of Indigenous communities, organizations, and leaders founded on the universal right to self-determination. These principles are rooted in the belief that those living at the grassroots should be empowered to decide how best to defend their rights, lands, and territories.

How we support Defenders
The security of Indigenous peoples and their lands and territories is of utmost priority to Land is Life. We provide support directly to grassroots organizations and strive to strengthen those groups and the communities they represent and defend by supporting their initiatives and priorities, building their capacity, and supporting strong governance. We also use our worldwide Indigenous-Led Grantmaking program and Sub-Saharan Africa focused Indigenous-Led Security Fund to provide small funds to directly support the missions and needs of our partners whenever possible. Additionally, we fund programs that develop resiliency strategies and tools for our partners - for instance, our commitment to digital security, the development of protocols of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent with communities in the Amazon, and the founding of the first working group on Indigenous Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation and Initial Contact.


Namati

Our Mission
Namati is dedicated to putting the power of law in the hands of people.

Law is supposed to be a sacred thread that ties us together, and protects each one of us. But for billions of people around the world the law is broken. It’s an abstraction, or worse, a threat, but not something we can use to exercise our basic rights.

Namati is building a global movement of grassroots legal advocates who give people the power to understand, use, and shape the law. These advocates form a dynamic, creative frontline that can squeeze justice out of even broken systems.

Legal empowerment advocates treat their clients as empowered citizens rather than victims requiring an expert service. Instead of “I will solve this problem for you,” our message is: “We will solve this together, and you will grow stronger in the process.”

How we support Defenders


Oxfam Novib

Our Mission
Oxfam Novib is a member of the Oxfam confederation and a worldwide development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty. Around the globe, we work to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.

How we support Defenders
We ask the Colombian government to listen to women defenders and to apply specific urgent protective and preventive measures in order to reduce the alarming numbers of murders and threats. We want the criteria of these women to be applied since they know better than anyone else the problems they’re facing, their land and the needs of their communities.


Peace Brigades International (PBI)

Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Kenya, and Indonesia, and formerly in Nepal

Our Mission
Peace Brigades International (PBI) works to open a space for peace in which conflicts can be dealt with non-violently. We use a strategy of international presence and concern that supports local initiatives and contributes to developing a culture of peace and justice. We act on request of local non-violent groups working for human rights and social change in regions where there is oppression and conflict.

The aim of PBI's international presence is to accompany both political and social processes through a joint strategy of deterring violence and promoting active non-violence. Our international teams of volunteers use methods such as protective accompaniment, peace education, independent observation and analysis of the conflict situation. In addition, PBI learns about, develops, and models forms of nonviolent intervention. Where possible, we initiate contacts with all the parties to a conflict in order to inform of our presence.

How we support Defenders
We provide protection, support and recognition to local human rights defenders who work in areas of repression and conflict and have requested our support.  We help human rights defenders make links with others and raise awareness of the issues they face.

We advocate at all levels – from the soldier at a local check point to national governments and international bodies like  the UN – for international human rights accountability. Our international volunteers send a powerful message: the world is watching and prepared to act.

Our unique approach combines on-the-ground expertise and local knowledge with international advocacy, aiming to ensure that human rights defenders are able to carry out their work, contributing to social justice and peace, in relative safety.

We always work at the request of defenders and in response to their needs.  We avoid imposing, interfering or getting directly involved in the work of the people we accompany. We don’t provide financial support or development aid to the organisations we work with.

What we do:

  • Advocacy;
  • Protective accompaniment;
  • Capacity Development;
  • Material and financial support for HRDs through ProtectDefenders.eu;

 


Publish What You Pay

Our Mission
Publish What You Pay (PWYP) is a global network of civil society organisations that are united in their call for an open and accountable extractive industry so that the revenues generated by oil, gas and mining operations help improve the lives of citizens in resource-rich countries, particularly at the local level where extraction happens. PWYP promotes the disclosure of information about extractive industry revenues, contracts and government budgets. Since its establishment in 2002, the global network has grown to over 700 member organisations across the world, including human rights, development, environmental and faith-based groups.

How we support Defenders
In recent years our members have increasingly experienced threats and barriers intended to disrupt and prevent them from doing their work. Members from Niger, Azerbaijan, Canada, Tunisia, Mexico and many others have experienced issues such as:

  • Restrictive laws preventing funding and operation;
  • Increases in authoritarian style policing;
  • Criminalisation of legitimate activism;
  • Public vilification;
  • Unwarranted surveillance;
  • Arrests, threats, and violence;

In 2016 we published “Against All Odds” (read it here) which highlighted examples of these incidents, responses and recommendations for governments, companies and civil society to address these worrying trends.


Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI)

Our Mission
The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) is a global Coalition of more than 200 organizations dedicated to advancing the forestland and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and rural women. RRI fosters the creation and implementation of innovative solutions to land tenure security to advance three global goals:

  • Substantially increase the forest area under local ownership and administration;
  • Prevent all changes to national laws and regulations that weaken the customary and statutory land rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and simultaneously promote new laws that strengthen customary and statutory rights;
  • Dramatically reduce poverty in the forested areas of the world;

How we support Defenders


Swedwatch

Our Mission
Swedwatch is an independent not-for-profit organisation that conducts in-depth research on the impacts of businesses on human rights and the environment. The aim of the organisation is to contribute towards reduced poverty and sustainable social and environmental development through research, encouraging best practice, knowledge-sharing and dialogue.

 


Transparency International

Our Mission
The mission of Transparency International is to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society.

How we support Defenders
With more than 100 national chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, we work with partners in government, business and civil society to put effective measures in place to tackle corruption.

Through our 2020 strategy, “We will defend and support Transparency International activists under threat, stand in solidarity with those whose work to expose corruption puts them at risk, and push back against the limits on civil society space.”

Through our SAFE unit (Safeguarding Anti-corruption Fighters’ Efforts), staff at the Transparency International Secretariat work to provide activists across the movement and broader anti-corruption community, support through protective advocacy, physical and digital security trainings, and emergency advice and support.


Trócaire

Our Mission
Trócaire’s dual mandate is to support the most vulnerable people in the developing world, while also raising awareness of injustice and global poverty in Ireland.

How we support Defenders
Trócaire supports Human Rights Defenders to carry out their human rights work effectively and be better protected from risks and attacks, as well as documenting violations and providing legal aid to those whose rights have been violated. We also provide support to, and carry out appropriate national and international advocacy with and/or on behalf of human rights defenders and their communities. Our current Organisational Advocacy Campaign is calling for an International Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights.
See our Campaign Policy here.


Universal Rights Group (URG)

Our Mission
As a global think tank, since 2013, the URG has been working on the relationship between human rights and the environment, and the situation of environmental rights defenders.

Particularly, the URG has worked with States and the UN Special Rapporteurs to champion the recognition of a right to a healthy environment and raise visibility and understanding of the situation of Environmental Human Rights Defenders, their work and the risks and threats they face. To achieve this, the URG regularly convenes and facilitates dialogue spaces between experts defenders and support organizations; and between experts and States. By creating these spaces for dialogue, the URG has been offering defenders an opportunity and secure spaces to talk about their concerns and needs, share experiences and learnings, and identify ways in which the civil society can contribute to the protection, respect and enjoyment of their human rights.

Additionally, the URG currently manages its environment-rights.org portal, which offers useful resources for Defenders. The portal provides information on how to access to the UN Human Rights Mechanisms, easy access to reports, guidelines and manuals, and contact details of support organizations. The URG has partnered with the EIA to add new features to make all the information more accessible and add features that will allow defenders on the ground to identify allies, resources, and relevant information in an easy and timely manner.

Furthermore, the URG regularly publishes policy and meeting reports to share with the global public the knowledge produced on the ground. These reports are available at the URG website and at the environment-rights.org.


Vuka! Coalition for Civic Action

Our Mission
The Vuka! mission is to help secure crucial short and long terms victories to regain civic space and incubate new forms of resistance and organization.

How we support Defenders
To fulfill its mission, Vuka! seeks to coordinate civil society responses to reclaim civic space and mobilize diverse civil society sectors through:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of citizen and civil society responses to the global crackdown on civic space through information sharing, coordination and joint action.
  • Increasing civil society’s resilience to attacks and threats by building solidarity across the sector.
  • Identifying, developing, and incubating creative approaches to human rights advocacy, new forms of resistance and organization.

The governing structure of the coalition consists of a 16-Member Civil Society Steering Group which provides strategic guidance and oversight to Vuka!. Five Action Teams ( 1) Catalytic Initiatives; 2) Rapid Response; 3) Positive narrative and campaigns; 4) Technology and Security; and 5) Research) made up of civil society leaders at the international, regional and national level, work together to develop, test and deploy a range of tactics and strategies to combat restrictions on civic space.


Water Witness International (WWI)

Our Mission
Water Witness International (WWI) works for a world protected against pollution, droughts, floods and resource conflict, and a fair water future where everyone has access to the good quality water they need to thrive.
We investigate, innovate and influence for water justice, working globally to address the root causes of poor water management.

How we support Defenders
We support communities living at the sharp end of the global water crisis. We enable them to secure their water rights, and to demand action and accountability from those responsible for pollution control, flood and drought management, water and sanitation services, and conflict resolution. Over the past 5 years, we have enabled 563,639 people to improve their water security through social accountability.


Waterkeeper Alliance

Our Mission
Waterkeeper Alliance strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water.

How we support Defenders


We Effect

Our Mission
We Effect’s mission is to, through a mutual partnership, strengthen local and democratic civil society organisations so that their members can improve their living conditions, enforce accountability of duty-bearers, defend their rights and contribute to a more just world.

How we support Defenders


World Resources Institute (WRI)

Our Mission
The World Resources Institute (WRI)’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. The Environmental Democracy Practice (EDP), which sits in WRI’s Governance Center, works with partners, including through The Access Initiative, to strengthen environmental democracy and the right to a healthy environment. We focus on strengthening law and practice around transparency, public participation and accountability—with a focus on climate, water and forests. We build the capacity of local communities and peoples to have a seat at the table where environmental decisions are made.

How we support Defenders
The actions we have taken to support environmental and land defenders include:

  • As Secretariat of The Access Initiative (TAI), we have promoted the passage of laws and practices on access to information, public participation and justice to support people’s voice in environmental decision-making and fight for redress where violations have occurred in over 60 countries.
  • We have worked to defend our partners when threatened and attacked in various countries including Kenya and India.
  • We have campaigned for the Escazú Convention—the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean—for over 8 years. The Escazú Convention is the first international agreement explicitly mentioning environmental human rights defenders, with provisions to guarantee their protection.

EDP supports coordination of the Defend the Defenders Coalition and helps lead the Coalition’s data workstream.


World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Our Mission
WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by: conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

How we support Defenders

WWF is working across through different actions to address the drivers of natural resource destruction and misuse of power that is at the root of violence on environmental defenders and the impunity of offenders, including by:

  • supporting indigenous peoples and local communities to strengthen the security of their rights over their land and resources
  • building and trialing innovative methods to combat corruption which enable abuse by the powerful in the utilization of natural resources and their impunity
  • advocacy to governments to respond rapidly and effectively to bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against environmental defenders
  • building rights-based approaches to conservation that empower indigenous peoples and local communities
  • working with other civil society partners, governments, UN and other actors to fight against shrinking civic space and ensure safe and effective civic voice and action for non-state actors and environmental defenders

National and Regional Organizations

 

Action for Large-scale Land Acquisition Transparency

Sierra Leone

Our Mission
Action for Large-scale Land Acquisition Transparency engages is strong advocacy for transparency and pro-poor policy change on large scale land acquisition by foreign direct investors.

How we support Defenders


North Africa, West Africa, East & Horn of Africa, Central Africa, South Africa

Our Mission
AfricanDefenders (the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network) is a network of five African sub-regional organisations, dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights defenders (HRDs) across the African continent.

How we support Defenders

  • Shield Awards:
    The African Human Rights Defenders Shield Awards aim to honor exceptional individuals who have contributed to changes in their community by peacefully promoting and protecting human rights, as universally recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  • Hub Cities:
    The Ubuntu Hub Cities initiative is a city-based relocation initiative for human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk across Africa. The initiative enables HRDs who have been subject to threats, violence and extreme pressure as a consequence of their human rights work to temporarily relocate. Relocation allows them to be safe and to take a break from their highly stressful and dangerous environment.
    Our main aim is to ensure the physical and mental well-being of HRDs during their relocation period, while enabling them to continue their work. Through our diverse local partnerships, relocation also provides an opportunity for HRDs at risk to learn and share experiences, so that they can have a positive impact on the host community and return home with enhanced capacities to protect and promote human rights.
    The Ubuntu Hub Cities initiative takes inspiration from other city-based relocation initiatives across the world to allow African HRDs to find temporary refuge within their own continent, where they can come into contact with other HRDs sharing similar experiences and working environments.
  • Defender ID:
    Increasing the profile of HRDs and demonstrating their connections with national and regional networks can, in certain circumstances, increase the ‘cost’ of attacking HRDs or violating their rights. In this light, the HRD Identity Card was conceived as a tool to assist African HRDs in reminding duty-bearers of their rights under international law, and to demonstrate that their human rights work is recognised and supported by the national, regional and international networks.
  • Advocacy:
    AfricanDefenders works to raise awareness of the challenges facing human rights defenders (HRDs) and to promote the implementation of concrete measures to improve their situation. We seek to facilitate the effective engagement of HRDs with regional and international human rights mechanisms, particularly with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
    We also promote coordinated advocacy efforts by our member networks for them to speak in a unified manner and amplify each other’s voices, and engage in strategic litigation at the regional level.

 


All Eyes on the Amazon

Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru

Our Mission

All Eyes on the Amazon’s mission is to combat deforestation in the Amazon and seek enforcement of the land rights of indigenous peoples living there, while calling to account companies, investors, governments and agri-businesses that abuse their power to profit from destroying the rainforest.

How we support Defenders

We also support the defense of LTBIQ activists, journalists, and human rights defenders. Our main strategies are supporting pioneers, supporting multi stakeholders platforms, and doing advocacy.


Amazon Watch

Amazon Basin

Our Mission
Amazon Watch partners with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon's ecological systems.

How we support Defenders
Amazon Watch is committed to the defense and support of Earth Defenders through advocacy before national and international authorities, emergency response, communications support to amplify their messages, and more.


Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Maldives, Philippines, Timor Leste, and Vietnam

Our Mission
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) works to promote and protect human rights, including the right to development, through collaboration and cooperation among human rights organisations and defenders in Asia and beyond.

How we support Defenders
FORUM-ASIA’s Human Rights Defenders Programme is a protection measure for human rights defenders (HRDs) and women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Asia. It seeks to facilitate a conducive environment for HRDs/WHRDs towards a more effective and efficient conduct of their work while being conscious of the risks involving their actions. It also pursues provision of practical safeguards for HRDs/WHRDs at risk by reducing both actual and perceived threats stemming from their work and activities.

The overall Programme Objective is to cultivate sustainability for effective advocacy work of Asian HRDs/WHRDs in defense of human rights in Asia and beyond. Specifically, the HRD Programme aims:

  • To reduce occurrence of threats, intimidation and attacks against HRDs/WHRDs in Asia;
  • To foster an enabling environment for Asian HRDs/WHRDs to carry out their legitimate work freely;
  • To develop next generation of HRDs in Asia equipped with leadership and capacity for strategic advocacy actions;

Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action (CJGEA)

Kenya

Our Mission
Center for Justice Governance and Environmental Action is non governmental organization whose mission is mainstreaming a human rights based approach towards environmental protection of marginalized and ignored communities around extractive industries and toxic sites in Kenya. We work very closely with grassroots Environmental Human Rights Defenders (EHRDs) in the coastal region of Kenya.

How we support Defenders
The actions we have taken to support Environmental Human Rights Defenders include;

  • We have worked very closely with the Owino Uhuru community and have helped them file a petition for a Class Action Litigation in Court. The case is challenging the responsibility of state and non-state actors towards the right to a clean and Healthy environment as assured in Article 42 of the Kenyan Constitution (2010).
  • Our project title ‘TO PROMOTE THE PARTICIPATORY RIGHTS AND THE RIGHT FOR THE CLEAN AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT OF THE COMMUNITIES NEGATIVELY AFFECTED BY NATURAL RESOURCE EXTRACTION IN THE COASTAL REGION OF KENYA’ enabled us to empower communities on their procedural rights; Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to effective remedy. Giving them tools to better protect their environment and human rights.
  • We work very closely with our communities and Empower EHRDs as trainers for the communities in procedures for public participation including a platform for communication and consultation among stakeholders that allows women, men, youths, persons with disabilities, local and indigenous people submit oral and written submissions, comments and questions and facilitates the development of consensus. We have encouraged our community members to join the County Environmental Committees in their counties to be part of decision making that concerns their environment.
  • We promote and support communities to be part of global and local information network for sustainable development. CJGEA has also joined several networks to promote and support our communities to be part of a global and local information network for sustainable development, this network's include; IPEN, TrustLaw, DeCOALonize, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, TAI etc.

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA)

Mexico

Our Mission
El Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA) trabaja a favor de la justicia ambiental, el bienestar de las personas y el desarrollo en armonía con la naturaleza.

How we support Defenders


Community Agroecology Network (CAN)

Mexico and Central America

Our Mission
Community Agroecology Network (CAN) is an international organization actively working in eight regions of Mexico and Central America. We confront social, economic, and environmental injustice through research, education, and action. CAN partners with community-based organizations, farmers’ cooperatives, nonprofits, and universities to generate local approaches to sustainable development.

How we support Defenders


Consortium for Agrarian Reform

Indonesia

Our Mission
The Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA) is an organization of the people's movement who fight for the agrarian reform agenda, in the form of independent and open association. Membership of KPA consists of 153 people's organizations (peasants, indigenous peoples, women, fishermen, and urban poor) and NGOs in 23 provinces in Indonesia.

How we support Defenders
We offer emergency funding management for the victims of criminalization and violence to land rights defenders.

Quick, effective and systematic responses are required from social movements to handle and campaign criminalization cases widely to the public. Agrarian Reform National Committee (Komite Nasional Pembaruan Agraria/KNPA) and its networks consisting of KPA, AMAN, KontraS, WALHI, SP, KIARA, SPI, API, PUSAKA, SW, Bindes, SAINS, IHCS, YLBHI & JKPP cooperating with Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and National Engagement Strategies (NES) will make sure that the emergency funding could be widely accessed by the victims of violence & criminalization in the struggle for land & resources rights.

The maximum funds that can be accessed by the applicant are IDR 25,000,000 insofar as they are used for the activity categories as follows:

  • Temporary location transfer;
  • Costs of legal aid services in emergency situations (when calling as witnesses, suspects or during forced pickups - including assistance during BAP - until before the case enters trial);
  • Costs of field investigations by the KNPA team and / or its network in order to provide rapid response and emergency response to cases of criminalization / violence;
  • Aid funds (lump sum) for the families of victims, which are related to cases that have resulted in the death of fighters for land rights;
  • Emergency health care for victims of land rights struggles;
  • For the needs of goods such as tents, cooking utensils, and other equipment needed by victims when in the shelter / evacuation period or in other emergency conditions, they can submit applications by filling in the fields already available in the submission format with a loan or grant mechanism (according to agreement between teams emergency fund with the applicant institution);

DefendDefenders

Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (together with Somaliland), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda

Our Mission
The mission of DefendDefenders is to maximize the protection of HRDs working in the sub-region and to enhance the awareness of human rights work through linkages with national, regional and international like-minded entities.

How we support Defenders
DefendDefenders was established as a regional NGO based in Uganda in 2005 following extensive field research in the region, which identified the most pressing and unmet needs of human rights defenders in order to seek to overcome some of the resulting challenges. The critical areas that were identified as needing to be addressed included the following:

  • Insufficient collaboration amongst human-rights organisations, especially those working in neighbouring countries;
  • Resource constraints (notably material) which greatly undermine the effectiveness of the work carried out by human rights defenders;
  • Knowledge gaps, in particular regarding international human rights instruments and mechanisms as well as crisis management;
  • The need at times to supplement the efforts of local and national human-rights defenders by the wider international community, especially when attacks on intra-national HRDs are involved, hence the need for systematic protocols for such support;

 


Green Advocates

Liberia

Our Mission

Green Advocates is a founding member of the Liberian Publish-What-You-Pay Coalition, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition. It works with a wide range of national and international civil society organizations and individual activists to promote public disclosure of financial transactions in the extractive industries and forestry sectors.

How we support Defenders


Instituto de Derecho Ambiental A.C. (IDEA)

Mexico

Our Mission
The mission of Instituto de Derecho Ambiental A.C. (IDEA) is to promote the land and environmental rights of vulnerable communities. We facilitate access to environmental justice by promoting social and environmental rights.

How we support Defenders

To fulfill its socio-environmental mission and impact, the Environmental Law Institute has operational program of protection for advocates: IDEA's Human Rights and Security Program supports environmental defenders and seeks to improve and enforce laws that protect the rights of citizens to defend their environmental human rights.


Latin America Working Group (LAWG)

Latin America and the Caribbean

Our Mission
Latin America Working Group (LAWG)’s mission is to ensure that U.S. policies advance human rights, peace, and social, environmental, and economic justice in Latin America and the Caribbean. To achieve this mission, we work with coalition partners and allied organizations to educate policymakers and the public and to mobilize a broad, diverse, and powerful grassroots base that can influence U.S. policymakers to achieve change.

How we support Defenders
In our campaign to uphold justice and defend the Defenders, we encourage accountability and an end to impunity for human rights violations and corruption, with an emphasis on defending human rights defenders and advocating for victims’ rights.


Natural Justice

West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa including Benin, Botswana, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, and Zimbabwe

Description
Natural Justice is an organisation rooted in the struggles of communities in Africa. As a team of pioneering lawyers and legal experts, we specialise in human rights and environmental law in pursuit of social and environmental justice.

Natural Justice strives to enhance the collective rights of people and protect the sacred relationships of indigenous peoples and local communities with nature. Our work is informed by the values, knowledge and self-determination of the communities we stand in solidarity with.

Natural Justice strives to enhance the collective rights of people and protect the sacred relationships of indigenous peoples and local communities with nature. Our work is informed by the values, knowledge and self-determination of the communities we stand in solidarity with.

Through legal empowerment, research and litigation, and as part of coalitions and campaigns, we help communities to know the law, use the law and shape the law. Natural Justice’s focus includes enhancing community access to land and governance of natural resources, contributing to the struggle against harmful extractive and infrastructure developments, supporting processes for recognising traditional knowledge and access and benefit sharing, supporting community rights within conservation and customary use, and strengthening community actions towards the climate crisis.

Together with the communities we work with, Natural Justice plays a key role at the national, regional and international levels by influencing policy and laws to recognise and enhance the rights of indigenous and local communities, and by inserting customary law considerations into the international frameworks.

How we Support Defenders
Natural Justice has been supporting activists in the communities we work in. In 2018, we started the process of launching the Human Rights Defenders and Strategic Litigation Fund which will support activists from indigenous and local communities who are at the frontline in their struggles for recognition, land and fundamental human rights.

In many ways, indigenous communities are the last line of defence to protect the world’s biodiversity. However, they remain vulnerable to attacks and often do not have the financial means to ensure they remain safe and free from risks.

The Fund will ensure that the support of Human Rights Defenders is prioritised and that Natural Justice can proceed with strategic litigation without having to depend on funding cycles. This rapid response will ensure that the lives, bodily autonomy, free movement and dignity of Human Rights Defenders are protected as an immediate need, while the Strategic Litigation Fund will be used for both urgent cases and longer term cases supporting efforts to challenge the erosion of their land and environmental rights. The Fund will also be used in order to provide risks assessments, security training and provide the networks and support for Human Rights Defenders.


Not 1 More (N1M)

Cambodia, West Africa, and Brazil

Our Mission
Not1More (N1M) is an environmental campaign group that supports frontline environmental defenders and investigates the root causes of environmental conflict. We work directly with frontline environmental activists and defenders to support them to continue their work but also improve their security conditions. We provide practical assistance to those at the frontline in terms of equipment, financial support and specialist training.

How we support Defenders
Our campaigns include:

  • Bloodwood:
    In 2014, logging exploded in West Africa due to the lucrative trade in rosewood, but the government implemented a log export ban and confiscated vast amounts of cut timber. Now the confiscated timber has been approved for export, driving fresh cutting of Guinea-Bissau’s fragile forests. N1M teamed up with the Environmental Investigation Agency to uncover collusion of authorities and timber traffickers, driving conflict in communities devastated by deforestation.
  • Free Mother Nature:
    Since 2016 Mother Nature Cambodia has been fighting to Save the Mangrove Forest. Despite intimidation and criminalisation of the Mother Nature activists, we achieved a ban on sand exports, and ended the dredging that destroyed fisheries. With our Mother Nature activist allies, N1M is spearheading the campaign to Save Sesan River. Over 100 indigenous and Khmer families are refusing to leave their ancestral lands, and demanding an end to the intimidation and threats they face. N1M provides support to defenders across Cambodia holding events and trainings, and investigates human rights abuses connected to environmental destruction.
  • Threat Sensor:
    We aim to use big data on killings of defenders to identify global trends, and create an early warning system: a map of hot spots showing where defenders need our support, before the situation becomes deadly. N1M is partnering with the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3), and the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford to bring strong, innovative analytic expertise to the questions of why defenders are being killed, and where they are most at risk - to proactively prevent attacks.
  • Amazon Security Framework:
    The needs of defenders in Brazil, the daily challenges and risks they face, are not widely understood; defenders are isolated; the security support needed is not available, or is reactive. Legal strategies can interrupt the culture of impunity and address the transnational drivers of violence, in support of those who protect land, forests, and water resources. This strategy has been developed with defenders in direct response to their urgent needs.

 


Panafrican Institue for Research, Training, and Action for Citizenship, Consumption, and Development in Africa (CICODEV)

African Continent

Our Mission
CICODEV’s mission is to defend, protect, inform, educate and represent citizen-consumers with a particular focus on the rights of the most disadvantaged.

How we support Defenders

CICODEV supports land rights defenders through:

  • Legal support (by reinforcing their capacity on land governance, national laws, and their rights and duties in land affairs);
  • Monitoring violation cases;
  • Judicial support, in the event of arrests (by hiring lawyers to defend them in court);
  • Advocacy at the national and international levels for their release;
  • Building a national and international network of land rights advocates;

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

Central America, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, South America, Venezuela

Our Mission
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) is a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas. We tackle problems that transcend borders and demand cross-border solutions. We create strategic partnerships with courageous people making social change—advocacy organizations, academics, religious and business leaders, artists, and government officials. Together, we advocate for more just societies in the Americas.

How we support Defenders
Examples of our work include:

  • Driving the conversation and policy reform on women’s mass incarceration:
    WOLA has successfully raised the issue of women’s incarceration—an escalating human rights crisis—in policy discussion across the region. Women are disproportionately penalized with long sentences for minor, non-violent drug charges in Latin America. WOLA works with regional partners to share the important stories of imprisoned women through videos, photos, and other cutting edge media platforms.
  • Working towards and inclusive peace in Colombia:
    WOLA has been instrumental in advocating for an inclusive peace in Colombia that safeguards the rights of all Colombians. We partner closely and work on the ground with the groups that have been most threatened throughout this tenuous process–including Afro-Colombians, indigenous groups, and women. WOLA stands with those facing threats of intimidation, and our continued advocacy to protect indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders is urgently needed.
  • Challenging Impunity in Mexico:
    2017 was Mexico’s most violent year in over two decades. WOLA works in partnership with human rights defenders and journalists to hold the Mexican government and justice system accountable for human rights abuses. WOLA’s report Overlooking Justice exposed how Mexico’s attorney general’s office has failed to effectively investigate offenses committed by soldiers. In five years, there were only 16 convictions out of a possible 505 cases. WOLA’s research motivated a response from the Mexican government, giving the military’s obstruction widespread international attention.
  • The Beyond the Wall Campaign:
    With the tremendous support of WOLA’s community for the Beyond the Wall Campaign, we respond swiftly and strategically to provide policymakers and advocates with fact sheets and other resources to fight back against President Trump’s inhumane, anti-immigrant policies.
    WOLA has dispelled rampant mistruths about migration, provided critical policy analysis to people who needed it, and helped get better protections for migrants at risk of abuse. We expose the human costs of policies that infringe upon human rights.