Human Rights Defenders Protection Act of 2024: US bill signals positive steps in the protection of Human Rights Defenders worldwide

by Tom Bicko Ooko Environmental human rights defenders

On Wednesday 31 January 2024, United States Senator Ben Cardin and Representative James McGovern introduced the Human Rights Defenders Protection Act of 2024, a bill that seeks to protect Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) facing retaliation globally for defending human rights and democracy. Notably, Senator Cardin was also the author of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which established one of …

Building momentum towards the realisation of environmental rights in Africa

by Joseph Burke and Tom Bicko Ooko Environmental human rights defenders, Thematic human rights issues

In the powerful words of the global environmental icon,  Professor Wangari Maathai , ‘[t]here comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness so that she stops threatening its life-support system.’ The twin resolutions by the UN Human Rights Council (resolution  48/13 , adopted on 8 October 2021) and the UN General Assembly (UNGA) (resolution  76/300 , adopted on …

The Escazú Agreement: A landmark regional treaty for environmental defenders

by Zaineb Ali, Universal Rights Group Environmental human rights defenders, Thematic human rights issues

The international community eagerly awaits the Escazú Agreement to come into force in early 2021 after having secured 12 ratifications (one more than the minimum required – 11). The Escazú Agreement , which emerged from the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), is the first legally binding instrument in the world to include provisions on environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) …

URG Insights - The Amazon fires: the burning of rights.

The Amazon fires: the burning of rights

by URG LAC Team Blog BORRAR, Blog BORRAR, EHRD BORRAR, Environmental human rights defenders, Thematic human rights issues

On 24th September, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, delivered a high-level speech during the general debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (GA). In it, he claimed that his Government is firmly committed to environmental protection and conservation, as well as to sustainable development more broadly. Yet, in the same speech, he questioned claims about the …

Mapping and overcoming the risks, threats, and challenges faced by Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Latin America, with a particular focus on indigenous and rural defenders

by Mariana Montoya EHRD BORRAR, Environmental human rights defenders, Prensa BORRAR, Thematic human rights issues

On the 8th and 9th November, 2017, the URG Latin America, with the support of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Professor John Knox and the International Union for Conservation of Nature – National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN-N), convened a two-days regional consultation on the situation of environmental human rights defenders (EHRD) in Latin America. Around …