May 25, 2019

Training on security management for Environmental Human Rights Defenders and land rights activists in Buliisa district

This training took place from 25-27, May  2019 in Biiso at Biiso guests House. The training was attended by 15 Environmental Human Rights Defenders and land rights activists. The aim of the training was to provide Environmental Human rights defenders and land rights activists in Buliisa district with digital and physical security capacity in order for them to be able to assess their own security risks and develop meaningful protection measures for mitigating security risks. The Defenders were therefore trained and equipped with the necessary skills needed for their safety. The participants were thus equipped with the skills needed to draw up and implement a comprehensive personal and organizational security plan. The training was part of Ngetha Media Association for Peace ongoing project: Improving the security of Indigenous Environmental Human rights defenders in the Albertine region which seeks to offer digital and physical protection to at-risk defenders operating in the contexts of extractive industry, land rights, biodiversity conservation, women empowerment as well as peasants organizing among others. Globally, the risk of physical attack was especially high for defenders of land, environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights. According to data collected by Front Line Defenders in 2018, these HRDs were nearly three times more likely to be assaulted than defenders working in other sectors. WHRDs, especially those in rural and indigenous communities, are routinely at the forefront of these movements yet they often lack the resources, contacts, and power to mitigate attacks, which frequently go unreported. Attacks are often preceded by sustained campaigns at national levels referring to defenders as ‘antidevelopment’, ‘anti-state’, ‘traitors’, ‘terrorists’ or ‘criminals’.