Defending Human Rights

Human Rights Defenders in Haiti Continue Despite Personal Risk

by Jen Bogle

Human rights defenders in Haiti risk their lives to protect the basic rights of Haitian citizens. Exile, intimidation, death threats, and assassinations have become part in parcel with human rights work in Haiti. Since January 2014, 15 local human rights defenders have been the targets of physical attacks and death threats that aim to end their critical work.

Mayan Peoples Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

Widespread protests and strategic organizing succeeded in defending Mayan lands and food sovereignty in Guatemala. This marks a major – and unprecedented – victory as the congress repealed the “Monsanto Law,” preventing threatened exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies.

Grassroots International Partner from Palestine Awarded the US Food Sovereignty Prize

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) announced that the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) of Palestine, based in Gaza and the West Bank is a co-recipient of the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize.  UAWC shares the prize with Community to Community Development /Comunidad a Comunidad (C2C) of Bellingham, Washington.

Talking Palestine, Racism and Climate Justice

Making the connections beween the bombing of Gaza, the ongoing occupation of Palestine, violence faced by black communities in the United States, migrant rights and climate disruption may seem like a tall order. But that is what happened on a recent Learning Call facilitated by Grassroots International  co-sponsored by the Climate Justice Alliance, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. (Grassroots International is a member of and works with these coalitions.)

Listen in by clicking the link here:

Brazilian Movement Stands Up to Hydroelectric Expansion

Although the damaging impacts of hydroelectric development are widely known, the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy reportedly plans to construct 168 new dams by 2021, including the massive Belo Monte Dam.

Report from Gaza as Bombing Resumes

The tenuous ceasefire between Israel and Hamas broke down yesterday (August 20), resulting in renewed bombing, heightened tensions and heartbreaking loss. Below is an update from our partner, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which continues to document the situation on the ground.

Thanks to support from concerned friends, Grassroots has been able to provide emergency assistance to PCHR and other civil society groups in Palestine working to provide relief and assistance in these difficult times.

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Dina's Story -- Celebrating the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

In honor of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples I’d like to tell you the story of Dina Julaju Quiche.

Dina is a young, petite woman. Her calm demeanor and smile does not give any impression of her struggles as a single mother trying to raise four children on a 150 square foot piece of land.

Humanitarian Situation Deteriorates in Gaza

In the weeks of escalating violence in Gaza, updates from our partners on the ground there have become increasingly dire, desperate and sadly detailed in their listing of dead and displaced. The article below summarizes much of what we have heard.

GMOs Promote Poverty and Dependency in Africa

The recent article, GM scaremongering in Africa is disarming the fight against poverty, published in the Guardian’s PovertyMatters Blog on 21 July 2014, is a thinly veiled attack on those of us in Africa and elsewhere who are deeply skeptical of the supposed benefits that genetically modified (GM) crops will bring to the continent. Based on a report by London-based think-tank Chatham House, it represents paternalism of the worst kind, advancing the interests of the biotechnology industry behind a barely constructed façade of philanthropy.

The Right to Water in Palestine

After almost three weeks of bombing, the death toll in Gaza rose to more than 1,030 on Sunday. The Palestinian poet Jehan Bseiso writes, "There’s more blood than water today in Gaza."

Haaretz notes, "After two and a half weeks of bombardments from the air and ground, roughly two-thirds of the Gaza Strip’s inhabitants — 1.2 million people — are suffering from severe disruptions to the water and sewage systems, according to Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene, a coalition of around 40 humanitarian groups operating in the occupied territories. In addition to the damage of the central pipeline and the reservoirs — which affects cities and villages throughout Gaza — home pipes and water containers on roofs have been damaged by the bombardments."