In many countries, human rights are seriously violated, with women and indigenous communities often being hit the hardest. Together with our partners, Both ENDS works to safeguard human rights like the right to water and food, with special attention for the rights of women and the specific rights of indigenous people (such as the principle of free, prior and informed consent, FPIC). The shrinking space for civil society and increasing oppression in many countries makes it ever more difficult for our partner organisations to operate.
Fighting for equal rights for women and men is an integral part of our mission. It is not only a matter of social justice, but also a requirement for achieving sustainable development. Both ENDS supports women's leadership, for example by helping them to get a place at the negotiating table, by promoting small grants funds that can ensure that climate and other funds are allocated directly to local women's groups, and by stimulating cooperation between environmental and women's organisations in the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA).
Companies, governments and financial institutions that invest in projects in indigenous areas must adhere to the principle of FPIC. FPIC means that local communities must be able to participate in decision-making on projects in their territories, without being placed under pressure (free), before the project starts (prior) and on the basis of the correct information (informed). Both ENDS promotes FPIC to ensure that investors respect the rights of indigenous peoples.
Unfortunately, in recent years, the space for civil society to act has been shrinking steadily worldwide. Non-violent protest is increasingly repressed with violence and freedom of the press, of expression and association is being restricted in many parts of the world.
The most serious consequence of this repression is the increasing threat to human rights defenders and those who protect the environment. Many of them have already given their lives in their struggle for justice. Both ENDS supports and strengthens them and their organisations, because a strong civil society worldwide is of crucial importance for fair and sustainable development.