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All About Power: Understanding Social Power & Power Structures

Srilatha Batliwala, CREA,

When activists try to change people’s lives, or tackle the injustices they face, we are actually trying to change power equations. Understanding power in terms of both power structures and power relations is very important for anyone who is an activist working for social change. It is even more important for anyone working on women’s…

Justice for All: The report of the Task Force on Justice

The Pathfinders Task Force on Justice,

At the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lies a vision of a “just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met.” Justice is a thread that runs through all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without increased justice, the world will not be able…

Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context

UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing,

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur examines the issue of the right to housing for residents of informal settlements and the commitment made by States to upgrade such settlements by 2030. Nearly one quarter of the world’s urban population lives in informal settlements or encampments, most in developing countries but increasingly also in the…

Guía para Trabajadores Comunitarios Cómo Documentar la Nacionalidad y Otras Formas de Identidad Jurídica

Namati y Open Society Justice Initiative, en cooperación con UNHCR,

Actualmente, 1.100 millones de personas en el mundo no cuentan con documentos que acrediten su identidad legal. Sin esto, no pueden votar, acceder a atención de la salud o ir a la escuela, y se exponen al riesgo de ser apátridas. Puede haber comunidades enteras—sobre todo de sectores de bajos recursos y miembros de minorías—sin…

Closing the Enforcement Gap: Community-led Groundtruthing of Environmental Violations in Mormugao, Goa

Centre for Policy Research, Namati Environmental Justice Program,

The Mormugao Port is located at Vasco bay in the Mormugao taluka of Goa at the point where the Zuari river meets the Arabian Sea. This region is home to thousands of fisherfolk from the Karvi community who live along the beaches of Mormugao, Salcete and Tiswadi talukas. It is a natural  harbour that provides…

The Hague Declaration

Justice Task Force,

On February 7, 2019, Ministers and high-level representatives from countries and international organisations convened in The Hague to come to a shared understanding of the opportunities to strengthen support and commitments for access to justice ahead of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) and the SDG Summit in 2019. Participants explored strategies for the achievement…

UN Women Annual Report 2017-2018

UN Women,

The Annual Report documents UN Women’s work to foster women’s empowerment and gender equality around the world. It highlights some of the organization’s initiatives during the year and provides summary financial statements, a list of new programmes and projects, and contact information. The time is now! At a historic time when women’s activism is galvanized around…

The Case to Fund and Protect Grassroots Justice Defenders

Namati (on behalf of the Justice For All campaign) ,

This policy brief offers recommendations for policymakers, donors, and multilateral institutions on how to finance and protect the grassroots justice defenders who provide essential legal support to communities. In every region of the world, these champions of legal empowerment—who mostly hail from civil society—are helping people to know, use, and shape the law. Grassroots justice…

Vision, Values, and Voice: A Communications Toolkit

The Opportunity Agenda,

The focus of this toolkit is two-fold: to outline framing principles and strategies that support the long-term movement of hearts and minds, and apply them toward shorter-term victories. The guidance included here is rooted in a large body of opinion and media research; in established communications techniques; and in the shared experience of hundreds of…

The Network of Community Defenders for the Right to Health in Guatemala

CEGSS-Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en los Sistemas de Salud,

In Guatemala, almost half of the total population is indigenous and the majority live in rural areas. Despite progressive laws that recognize the right to health, rural populations face major barriers and discrimination to access healthcare services. Because of this situation, rural communities have organized themselves as “community defenders for the right to health.” This…

New brief makes the case to fund and protect justice defenders

Posted by Namati in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates, Global Legal Empowerment Network, Namati News, Network Dispatch, Post-2015 Agenda

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” These words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ring true today. Especially when justice defenders themselves are at risk. Today, on MLK Day, Namati and the Justice For All campaign are launching a policy brief that offers recommendations on how governments, donors, and multilateral institutions can finance…

Saving Sangam from Mining

Posted by Vijay Rathod in Environment

The following post originally appeared on India Water Portal. There was illegal mining in the Triveni Sangam and I could not believe my eyes. Who could do something like this? The sangam, or confluence of rivers, in the Gujarat district of India, has a special place in my mind as I had grown up visiting…

How a Coastal Violation is Leading to a Small Revolution in Karnataka

Posted by Vinod Patgar in Environment

The following blog by CPR-Namati Enviro-Legal Coordinator, Vinod Patgar, originally appeared on myLaw.net. Baad, a village near my village of Kagal in coastal Karnataka, hosts a fair every year at the Shri Kanchika Parameshwari temple. As children, the joy of going to this fair was unparalleled. During the fair, the yakshagana, a folk dance, used…

How One Experience in Bangladesh Advanced Women’s Rights Work in Myanmar

Posted by Nant Thi Thi Oo in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Women

The following is a blog by Nant Thi Thi Oo, a data entry associate with Namati’s program in Myanmar.    In November 2015, I had the chance to participate in a learning exchange hosted by Namati and the Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association (BNWLA). I was very grateful to be selected to go. The exchange focused…

New Handbook for Environment Justice Practitioners in India

Posted by Namati in Environment

Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Community Level Environment Justice Practitioners in India   The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program has produced an indispensable new handbook that helps environment justice practitioners in India to identify and use appropriate legal clauses and institutional routes in their work.  Environment justice practitioners, or grassroots environment paralegals,…

Streamlining Institutions to Restore Land and Justice to Farmers in Myanmar

Posted by Namati in Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

A new policy brief has been released emphasizing the need for the Myanmar government to put in place simple, transparent mechanisms to ensure that land and justice is restored to farmers who were dispossessed of their livelihoods without due process or compensation.  According to the Parliamentary Land Investigation Committee, more than 500,000 acres of land in Myanmar…

Groundtruthing – A Journey from Law to Environmental Justice

Posted by Vivek Trivedi in General

“The community actually said that the ‘air is so bad and the water is so bad that we can neither cook nor make tea.’” This line, sobering in its daily reality, was delivered at a recent webinar entitled Building Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance, by Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director at the CPR-Namati…

Bringing Law to Life: Paralegal Interventions in Natural Resource Exploitation

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates, Land & Natural Resources

Introduction When a diamond mining company closed its operations in Mofuwe Village, in the south of Sierra Leone, it left behind three mined-out pits the size of several football pitches, a collapsed bridge, a blocked stream and an uncompleted community school building. It was as if the villagers woke up one morning and the company…

Burying the Law to Make Way for a Coal Mine

Posted by Kanchi Kohli and Alok Shukla in Environment

The cancellation of the community rights of Ghatbarra village over the Hasdeo Arand forest – to make way for a coal mine – raises many questions. When the Forest Survey of India’s 2011 report celebrated Hasdeo Arand as the largest unfragmented forest in central India outside the official protected area system, there was another process…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Governance, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…

Myanmar faces fresh hurdle in land rights and justice

Posted by Caitlin Pierce in Land & Natural Resources

Download Namati’s report Returns of Grabbed Land in Myanmar: Progress After Two Years (in English or Burmese) UMyint Tun was working in his field in Sagaing when four officers pulled up in a military jeep with the bad news: his land now belonged to the government. He could no longer farm it. This was April…

Namati Welcomes Sierra Leone’s Progressive New National Land Policy

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Land & Natural Resources

Sierra Leone’s new National Land Policy, recently approved by the cabinet, presents a progressive and ambitious plan for protecting land rights that will strengthen women’s access to land, give communities a bigger say over land management and create a better framework for major land investments. All of which is urgently in need if Sierra Leone’s…

The Sea, the Law and Salt

Posted by Vimal Kalavadiya and Bharat Patel in Environment

How we used the law to reclaim the inter-tidal area at Bavdi Bander, Gujarat, India The Kutch district in Gujarat, one of the largest in India, has a coastline of 405 kilometers and inter-tidal area of about 200 kilometers. For generations, communities in the district have engaged in agriculture, pottery, animal husbandry, weaving, fishing, and…

Myanmar: Namati & Landesa Make Recommendations for Pro-Poor Land Policy

Posted by Laura Goodwin in Land & Natural Resources

In this major new report Namati and Landesa highlight the pressing needs of Myanmar’s rural population – and recommend potential solutions – as the Myanmar government embarks on wide-reaching land policy reform. Download the report in English. Download the report in Burmese. Myanmar is undergoing a major transition, opening space for significant change for the…

Ignoring the institutions that can save India’s coastal regions

Posted by Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli and Meenakshi Kapoor in Environment

Since November 2014 there have been at least four amendments to India’s Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011. In all but one instance, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has emphasised on the “public interest” clause, allowing the dispensation of the requirement of a public notice and seeking citizen’s inputs before the…

New legal database on community land and natural resource rights

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

Namati has launched a groundbreaking new tool for lawyers and advocates working to protect community rights to land and natural resources: the Community Land Rights CaseBase. More and more lawyers and front line legal advocates are stepping forward to defend communities’ rights, yet they often struggle to find supportive legal precedent – within their own country or…

Oxfam on India’s proposed new land acquisition ordinance

Posted by Namati in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

There has been uproar in India’s parliament and among civil society groups following the government’s proposal to replace the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCLARR). RFCLARR was enacted in 2013 replacing the land acquisition policies prevalent in the country since 1894. A year later, the Government of…

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