Civil society is being silenced
September 22nd websites of civil society organisations and NGO's all over the world will go black, in protest and solidarity. Protest against the shrinking space for civilians and organisations to speak out, unite and protest peacefully.
This protest is necessary. The attack on our freedoms continues and increases. It is accompagnied by violence more and more. In 2016, 281 activists and human rights defenders were killed for speaking out and defending the rights of their community.
In even more cases, essential human rights such as freedom of press and freedom of speech are being abused by imprisoning journalists, by intimidating activists, by prohibiting protests. And this is not only happening far away, in countries like Uganda and Nicaragua. Also in countries around us, civic space is shrinking, for example in Hungary and Poland. Also in the Netherlands, budgets of organisations that support human rights initiatives are being cut.
That's why activists, journalists, bloggers, human rights movements and NGO's say: it's time for a change. We have to end the impunity, the threats and murders of people who stand for their rights.
The campaign will begin on Friday 22nd September with a "day of silence", as individuals and organisations choose to silence their own voices in solidarity with those who have been silenced against their will.
Then, from Saturday 23rd until Monday 25th, the world will speak as one, with hundreds of events happening around the globe.
Join us at togetherwespeak.org.
Also read the examples below of the oppression of press and civil society:
- The Independent, 21 September 2017: Uganda Police raids Action Aid
- US News, 22 August 2017: Company Behind Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Sues Greenpeace
- Both ENDS, 4 August 2017: Nicaragua canal undermines human rights
- The Guardian, 24 July 2017: Turkish journalist defends press freedom as grand trial begins
Read more about this subject
News / 16 November 2018
Silence can sometimes say more than a thousand words. When colleagues from our partner organisations tell us their stories,* our reaction is often silence; a dejected silence.
External link / 21 September 2016
A Southern perspective on the shrinking space for civil society
Publication / 10 July 2019
News / 9 December 2016
3 Steps to Stand Up for Human Rights in Development!
As we celebrate both the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development (December 4th) and Human Rights Day (December 10th), Both ENDS joins with communities and civil society groups around the world to call on development finance institutions, governments, and businesses to take 3 steps to stand up for Human Rights in development.
External link / 24 August 2022
Supporting civil society to work freely and safely (Annual Report 2021)
Both ENDS aims to ensure that civil society can work freely and safely to influence decision-making related to ecosystems, environmental justice and human rights. In many places around the world, the space for civil society organisations to operate is shrinking. Repression, harassment and violence against environmental human rights defenders – our partners among them – is on the rise.
News / 20 October 2016
Laura Cáceres: “By continuing my mother’s fight, I continue the defense of life”
This week, Laura Zuniga Cáceres, daughter of Berta Cáceres*, visits the Netherlands. She will talk with the directors of the involved departments of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in a colloquium about indigenous right of Leiden University and meet with several Dutch NGO's. Both ENDS asked this brave young woman about the situation in Honduras and her motivation to continue her mother's work.
News / 20 September 2019
Call for solidarity with Philippine environmental rights defenders
We are shocked and alarmed by the news of a planned raid into the headquarters of an environmental organisation in the Philippines. Although the raid has not materialised until now, we are deeply concerned for their wellbeing.
News / 28 September 2018
Joan Carling is awarded with the UN’s highest environmental honor!
We congratulate Joan Carling, member of the permanent commission on indigenous peoples of the UN, for having received the Lifetime Achievement Award as 'Champion of the Earth' by the UN Environment! This is the UN's highest environmental honor, given to six of the world's most outstanding environmental change makers once a year.
Blog / 23 September 2016
Counterpower has to find its own weapons to fight the main power
Guest blog by Debora Calheiros, Brazil
News / 10 February 2020
Civil society groups assert their right to expose the impacts of palm oil production
Civil society organisations from around the world condemn the statements by representatives of palm oil companies during a meeting with the Malaysian government. In this meeting, the company representatives called critical NGOs "toxic entities" and asked the Malaysian government to not let these NGOs into the country. Both ENDS' partners have published a reaction in which they defend their right "to expose the realities we face in their communities about the impacts of the palm oil sector".
Publication / 4 November 2009
News / 26 October 2022
Senegal: 26 innocent people including Both ENDS' partner arrested in Senegal
Update October 27th:
Today our friends have been released after five nights in detention. We welcome this great news and we are happy and relieved that Babacar Diouf and the others who were arrested will soon be back with their loved ones.
Nonetheless this was a very bad signal from Senegalese authorities and police and an indication of the growing restriction on civic space in Senegal. It is unacceptable that freedom of expression is restricted, people should not have to go to jail for peacefully expressing their opinion - especially when their livelihood is at stake.
Letter / 25 October 2022
Official Statement of Indonesian Coalition for Monitoring Infrastructure Development related to AIIB Statement of Anti Retaliation
The Mandalika International Street Circuit is a street circuit in the resort of Mandalika in Central Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara Province. The project, mainly intended to attract tourists, is largely financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
News / 17 October 2016
Nicaragua: indigenous consent for canal is false
The supposed consent given by the indigenous population for the controversial canal through their territory is deceptive. Testimonies of the Rama and Kriol population show how the consultation process has been manipulated, and that their consent is invalid.
News / 28 June 2022
In solidarity with daughter of murdered Indigenous leader
On Tuesday 28 June, the Honduran organisation COPINH and the Global Justice Association filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in the Netherlands against Dutch development bank FMO. For COPINH, this is part of their continued efforts to bring to justice those involved in the murder of their leader Berta Cáceres. FMO financed the Agua Zarca project in Honduras in 2014. The new complaint is based on documents indicating that FMO's money has been used improperly.
External link / 10 December 2018
Human Rights Defenders are a Cornerstone of Sustainable Development
An Open Letter to States and Development Financiers on the need to ensure that development interventions support the realization of human rights, safeguard human rights defenders and guarantee meaningful public participation
News / 14 March 2018
Call for solidarity with Philippine human rights defenders
We are shocked and alarmed by the news that the Philippine government has declared a list of 600 people to be communist terrorists. On the list are mostly indigenous leaders, environmental activists and human rights defenders. Among them are some of our partners, and we are deeply worried about them and the other people on this list.
Blog / 10 December 2021
Vaccine apartheid is a violation of human rights
Pharmaceuticals hold on to their patents and (our) governments do not remove the barriers to free production that were raised under international trade agreements years ago.
News / 4 August 2017
Nicaragua Canal undermines human rights
A report published yesterday by Amnesty Central America shows that the plans for a new canal leads to numerous violations of human rights in Nicaragua. And that's even before the works have started. Many organisations therefore protest against the canal, supported by Both ENDS.
All Eyes on the Amazon
Covering an area of 5.5 million km², the Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. At least 12% of the forest has been lost in the last decades, and deforestation is still continuing at a rapid pace. Illegal logging, land grabbing and intimidation for agriculture, animal husbandry and mining are daily business, and impunity rules. Recent developments, such as the election of the new Bolsonaro government in Brazil, make the future of the Amazon region and the people living there even more uncertain than it already was.