In February 2006, an explosion at the Pasta de Conchos mine, in northern Mexico, left 65 miners dead. Since then, human rights defender Cristina Auerbach and her organisation Familia Pasta de Conchos have been demanding justice for the victims and their families. Other HRDs, such as Esmeralda Saldaña, have joined the struggle.
Across the world, women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are bringing about radical changes in their communities. They face immense risks to make their voices heard, to defy oppressive governments, to struggle for justice, and to resist racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and all forms of oppressions. On International Women's Day, we honour their struggle.
Front Line Defenders, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin hosted lawyer and WHRD Hauwa Ibrahim to give the 2017 Front Line Defenders Annual Lecture, held at the Royal Irish Academy on 27 March. Hauwa spoke about her current work "Mothers Without Borders: Steering Youth Away from Violent Extremism" as well as her experience as a prosecutor, defense lawyer and human rights defender.
Interview with Mexican journalist and HRD Lucia Lagunes Huerta on World Press Freedom Day 2017 on the dangers of being a journalist in Mexico - one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the profession.
Interview with Magda Adly, Director of the El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence in Cairo, which was forcibly shut down by the Egyptian government's crackdown on NGOs.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we celebrate the struggle of women human rights defenders across the world. From India to Nigeria, from Uganda to Georgia, they are standing up to stop and prevent gender-based violence, to defend women's reproductive rights, and to build a society where women don't have to be afraid to speak up.
Interview with Claudia Julieta Duque, Colombian HRD and journalist, who has suffered repeated threats, intimidation, surveillance and attacks against her, and who successfully brought a case against the intelligence agencies of Colombia for psychological torture.
Across the world, women human rights defenders (WHRDs) face extreme risks - and highly gendered violence - to promote and protect the rights of their communities. The attacks they face are often more sexualised and stigmatised than those faced by male defenders. When women human rights defenders are killed, local authorities and media outlets tend to dissociate their murder from their human rights work. WHRDs also encounter severe barriers to justice following attacks.
Video profile in honor of murdered Honduran WHRD Berta Cáceres, winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, and recognized worldwide for her leadership in defense of the rights of the indigenous Lenca people and the environment.
In depth interview with Peruvian WHRD Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, a woman whose defiance against a US-based mining company in defence of her land and the environment was recognized when she won the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize.
Ingrid Vergara Chavéz is a land rights defender working with the Movement of Victims of State Crimes (MOVICE) in Sucre, Colombia. Ingrid and her colleagues demand justice and an end to impunity for government and paramilitary crimes, and advocate for the return of lands to displaced peasant and indigenous communities In response, she and her daughters have been threatened with weapons, public pamphlets, phone and email messages, and surveillance.
Phyoe Phyoe Aung is the General Secretary of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), and has led widespread protests for academic freedom across the country. She spent three years in prison for peacefully participating in the “Saffron Revolution” in 2008, and was again arrested in 2015 with more than 100 other students – many of whom were tortured. Phyoe Phyoe was released on presidential pardon in April 2016.
Ana Mirian Romero is a land rights and indigenous rights defender in Honduras. She is a member of Movimiento Indígena Lenca de La Paz Honduras – MILPAH (Lenca Indigenous Movement of La Paz, Honduras) and the Consejo Indígena San Isidro Labrador (San Isidro Labrador Indigenous Council). She has been active in opposing the installation of the Los Encinos hydro-electric dam on indigenous land near the Chinacla river. In early 2016 her home was burned down.
Gladys Lanza Ochoa was Coordinator of the Movimiento de Mujeres por la Paz Visitación Padilla (Honduran Women's Committee for Peace "Visitación Padilla"), a collective of women HRDs from across Honduras who work on issues such as gender violence and women's participation in public life, in addition to advocating for democracy and human rights in Honduras. She passed away in September 2016.
Interview with LaDonna Bravebull Allard, indigenous HRD from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the significance of Standing Rock and the importance of being a 'Water Protector'.
On the UN day to End Crimes Against Journalists, IM-Defensoras and Front Line Defenders spoke to Marcela Turati (Mexico), Iduvina Hernandez (Guatemala), Roxana Vasquez (Honduras) and Fidelina Sandoval (Honduras) about the challenges faced by WHRDs who work as journalists in Latin America.
Every day, an average of 12 women are murdered in Latin America and the Caribbean. Across the region, women human rights defenders are risking their lives to protect other women, and to stop gendered attacks. On the 16 Days of Action to End Violence against Women, let's celebrate their struggle.