Women human rights defenders call for guarantees for their protection, an end to impunity

Published by Brent Patterson on

Video: “By being women in the public space, and as guardians of our Indigenous and local communities and resources, we face marginalization, discrimination and racism, patriarchy and gender-based violence. As women human rights defenders we are at the intersection of all of these systems of oppression.” – Sara Mux, Ixpop Collective (Guatemala)

The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Amnesty International, IM-Defensoras, ProDESC and other organizations recently brought together virtually 45 women human rights defenders from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua and other countries who collectively demanded that the United Nations and international community recognize their key role in protecting humanity and the environment.

Their statement highlights: “Our communities are under threat from extractive industries and environmental destruction, corrupt and inept governments, armed groups and worsening climate conditions.”

Among their demands, they called on the UN and international community to:

1- Take action against States that continue to allow impunity for hundreds of killings of environmental human rights defenders and women human rights defenders every year.

2- Recognize that the criminal justice system is used as a tool of repression against us. Join in our calls that those detained arbitrarily or solely for defending human rights must be released immediately and false charges must be dropped.

3- Call to urgently protect and promote women human rights defenders and end stigmatization, hate campaigns and digital attacks against them.

4- Provide flexible resources for women human rights defenders and their organizations to guarantee their holistic protection.

Their full statement can be read in English and Spanish.

PBI webinar, November 6

A Peace Brigades International webinar on Saturday November 6 will include women environmental human rights defenders from Honduras, Guatemala, Kenya and Mexico to highlight these same issues during the UN COP26 climate summit.

The online event will be at 11:00 am (in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Chihuahua), 12 pm (Colombia), 1 pm (Ontario/Quebec), 7 pm (European time) and 8 pm in Kenya.

It will have simultaneous translation in English and Spanish.

Women human rights defenders Nelly Madegwa (Kenya), Sandra Calel (Guatemala), Juana Ramona Zuñiga (Honduras) and Valeria Villa (Mexico) will be speaking on November 6. To register to hear them speak, click here.


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