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.
What can you say to the courageous human rights lawyer who has fled her home country in Central America, a country that is not officially at war, but where she is threatened because she voices her criticisms of the government?
Are there any words of comfort for the man from a Central African country now that the training centre for sustainable forest management that he set up with great passion and hard work has been taken over by rebels?
What do you say to the South American who left his family behind in his village and now has to request asylum in the Netherlands because he defended the rights of his community?
Are there words that can comfort the indigenous woman from South-East Asia whose husband and brothers were recently shot dead because they defended their indigenous land rights, opposing the interests of a mining company?
There are none.
That is why, today, we are silent. As a protest against the powers and forces that are restricting our universal freedoms worldwide and are silencing us and our partners. And in solidarity with activists, environmental protectors and human rights defenders who actively protect their and our rights and who – increasingly often – pay for it with their lives.
In the coming days, we ask attention for these brave people. Because they refuse to give up. No matter how difficult the circumstances are, they keep on fighting for freedom of expression, human rights, women's rights, land rights, preservation of biodiversity and a sustainable future for their children.
This campaign is part of SPEAK!, an international campaign by CIVICUS. For more information, see www.togetherwespeak.org
*The examples given here are anonymous so as not to endanger the persons involved.
Read more about this subject
External link / 21 September 2016
News / 21 September 2017
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.
Blog / 23 September 2016
Guest blog by Debora Calheiros, Brazil
Publication / 10 July 2019
News / 10 February 2020
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".
News / 20 September 2019
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 / 9 December 2016
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
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 / 28 September 2018
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.
News / 20 October 2016
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 / 7 October 2018
We are very proud that our director Daniëlle Hirsch has been included again in the ‘Sustainable 100’ (an annual ranking list published by Dutch newspaper Trouw), and has gone up more than 40 spots compared to last year! Danielle was included in the list because of the many things she does with her organisation as a whole, but she got the higher ranking for the way she combines her criticism of the destructive role of the Netherlands as a trading nation and large cause of CO2 emissions in the world (often supported by the Dutch government), with a constructive attitude when it comes to finding alternatives and solutions.
GAGGA rallies the collective power of the women's rights and environmental justice movements to realize a world where women can and do access their rights to water, food security, and a clean, healthy and safe environment.
External link / 1 January 2016
The six members of the Fair, Green & Global (FGG) Alliance power voices of people and communities all over the world. We aim to expand civic space, stimulate movements and invest in mutual capacity development. Collaborating with over a thousand partner organisations in countries where people and nature are under constant pressure. Thanks to the strategic partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the six member organizations can make a difference for people across the world. Read more on the FGG website!
News / 26 October 2022
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.
Publication / 8 November 2019
Letter / 4 May 2023
The Dutch government, through its export credit agency Atradius DSB (ADSB), provides export support to companies that undertake activities abroad. The state wants projects it insures to have no negative consequences for people and the environment and therefore sets requirements for corporate social responsibility (CSR). A consultation on CSR policy ran until the end of April, to which a coalition of thirteen social organisations from the Netherlands and abroad, including Both ENDS and Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth the Netherlands), responded.
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