Defending Human Rights

The struggle for social change and justice brings activists into direct confrontation with the forces of power, which often have a vested interest in maintaining inequality through control over resources.

Grassroots works with local, regional, national and international organizations who monitor and document human rights abuses and defend economic, social, cultural and environmental rights including the rights to food, water and land. For example, we supported Brazil’s Social Justice Network legal team in prosecuting the assassins of Sister Dorothy Stang, a tireless land rights activist who accompanied indigenous people and peasants in the Amazon.

We make grants for training of local human rights monitors; legal defense for resource rights activists; communications, education and training to raise public awareness of resource rights as human rights; and presentation of documentation or cases at regional or international human rights bodies.

We also advocate on behalf of our partners and allies, insisting that their local, state and national governments comply with and enforce the law and that transnational corporations like Monsanto and global financial institutions like the World Bank are held accountable to local and national laws and international standards of human rights and environmental justice.