Posts Tagged ‘climate’

Profile of William Leslie Amanzuru, Africa’s defender of the month

November 7, 2018

On 6 November 2018, the African network NGO DefendDefenders published this profile of their ‘Defender of the month’: William Leslie Amanzuru from Uganda:

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Southeast Asia: women on the frontlines of climate justice

January 21, 2016

Nathalie Margi writes in Open Democracy of 6 December 2015 that throughout Southeast Asia, hundreds of women environmental human rights defenders have been jailed, attacked and defamed as threats to “national security”. They remain without adequate resources, protection and funding for their work. In the piece entitled “Defending land and community: women on the frontlines of climate justice”, she says inter alia:  Read the rest of this entry »

Special Rapporteur’s next report focuses on HRDs and large-scale development projects: you can contribute!

June 14, 2013

The next thematic report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, to the General Assembly in October 2013 will focus on the links between large-scale development projects and a safe and enabling

environment for human rights defenders, with a particular emphasis on the challenges of the human rights-based approach to development and the role of human rights defenders. This is indeed – as also shown in this blog – a growing area of concern with many HRDs working on e.g. land grabbing, forced evictions, environmental issues or the protection of indigenous minorities under constant threats and many having been killed .

To this end, the Special Rapporteur is requesting Member States, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations and regional human rights mechanisms to answer a questionnaire. If you would like to contribute to this exercise, kindly complete the questionnaire and send it to defenders@ohchr.org. Deadline: 24 June 2013!. Should you have any question, please send an e-mail to the same address.  Questionnaire to be found via Questionnaire on large-scale development.

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

Job Opportunity: Manual on Documenting Violations against Women Human Rights Defenders

June 4, 2013

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) is looking to recruit an editor for the Manual on Documenting Violations against Women Human Rights Defenders. The editor will work closely with members of the WHRD IC’s Documentation Manual Working Group to complete the manual. Read the rest of this entry »

Another Guatemalan Human Rights Defender murdered – 3 others released by kidnappers

March 27, 2013

On 18 March 2013, the body of human rights defender and indigenous peoples’ leader Encarnación Marcos Ucelo was found, following his kidnapping by heavily armed men the day before. His body reportedly showed signs of strangulation and his hands were tied. Fellow indigenous leaders Messrs Rigoberto Aguilar, Rodolfo López and Roberto González were also kidnapped by the armed men, but all three were released on 17 and 18 March 2013.

Encarnación Marcos Ucelo was a member of the Xinca indigenous people in Santa Maria Xalapán, situated in the department of Jalapa in Eastern Guatemala. He had worked as secretary of the Indigenous Parliament of Santa Maria Xalapán for almost two years and was also involved in a commission established in 2012 to investigate the historical land rights of indigenous peoples and campesino communities in Guatemala. Rigoberto Aguilar, Rodolfo López and Roberto González are all members are of the same indigenous community, while Roberto González is also Mayor of Santa Maria Xalapán and President of the Parliament.

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped condemns the killing of Encarnación Marcos Ucelo, and expresses serious concern for the security and physical and psychological integrity of Rigoberto Aguilar, Rodolfo López and Roberto González and urges the authorities in Guatemala to initiate an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation and take all necessary measures to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity all other indigenous peoples’ rights defenders of the Santa Maria Xalapán community.

Link between protecting the environment and human rights asserted by UN Expert Knox (re-issued with working links and references to case law)

March 11, 2013

What is apparent from this blog, which has featured many cases of environmental Human Rights Defenders, has now been clearly stated (on 7 March 2013) by the United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and environment, John Knox. In his report to the Council of Human Rights, he highlighted the urgent need to clarify the human rights obligations linked to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Such clarification, he said, “is necessary in order for States and others to better understand what those obligations require and ensure that they are fully met, at every level from the local to the global.”……………….In his report Mr. Knox also identifies rights whose implementation is vital to environmental policymaking, such as the rights to freedom of expression and association, rights to receive information and participate in decision-making processes, and rights to legal remedies. “The exercise of these rights, makes environmental policies more transparent, better informed and more responsive to those most concerned.” “States should recognize the important work carried out by human rights defenders working on land and environmental issues in trying to find a balance between economic development and environmental protection, should not tolerate their stigmatization and should ensure prompt and impartial investigations into alleged violations of their rights,” he said.

John Knox was appointed as the Independent Expert on human rights and the environment in July 2012 by the United Nations Human Rights Council.humanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen

Learn more: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13089&LangID=E

Knox’s full report: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A-HRC-22-43_en.pdf 

via Link between protecting the environment and human rights | Scoop News.

I would also like to refer now to an article by Lauri R. Tanner  in the Oxford Press Journal of Human Rights Practice on the landmark environmental defenders cases by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: the milestone case of ‘Kawas v. Honduras‘ and the so-called ‘Mexican Ecologists case‘. In its first-ever ruling on environmental defenders, the Court found a positive obligation on the part of member states in the Hemisphere to protect environmentalists who are in serious jeopardy from human rights violations. The Kawas case is a paradigmatic example of the constant threats these activists encounter, both in the Americas and internationally, and states in the region are now on notice to ensure special protection to those most in danger of harm. The Court arrived at the remarkable juncture of ‘making visible and potentially punishable what heretofore has been invisible and unpunished’. In an epilogue Tanner addresses the subsequent ruling in the ‘Mexican Ecologists’ case, and offers recommendations to human rights and environmental defenders and practitioners both regionally and internationally.

PDF to download:
http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/hur020?ijkey=TmPlvBcvZYHLh18&keytype=ref

Full Text online:
http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/hur020?ijkey=TmPlvBcvZYHLh18&keytype=ref