An earth rights defender is someone who, individually or collectively, promotes human and environmental rights — “earth rights”. These include our right to food and clean water and our right to a healthy and safe environment. It also includes the corresponding rights which enable us to protect our environments, such as the right to speak out and act to protect our lands and livelihoods, and the right to participate in the development decisions that affect us. The promotion of civil and political rights such as security of person, freedom of speech and association, access to information, and the rights to non-discrimination and self- determination are fundamental for advocates and communities to defend their lands.
Earth rights defenders expose violations and fight for the victims. Unfortunately, corrupt governments and corporations don’t just sit back and watch. They will often retaliate by silencing, suing, and even killing earth rights defenders.
Our networks, including current and former students at our EarthRights School Mekong and EarthRights School Myanmar experience imprisonment, police violence, intimidation, and many other issues. Every day, earth rights defenders put their security and rights at risk.
We are here to help them.
We use legal cases, policy reform, training, and legal advocacy tools to protect individuals, communities, and organizations who step forward to defend human rights and the environment.