Legal Empowerment through Community-Led Monitoring

The Global Justice Clinic works to empower marginalized populations to know and exercise their human rights. The Clinic works in proximity with communities and grassroots organizations to ensure they have access to the information and tools they need to advance the fulfillment of rights, to anticipate and prevent human rights abuses, and to seek accountability for violations. The goal of these legal empowerment efforts is not only justice. The objective is also to support individuals and communities deprived of their rights to lead efforts to prevent and redress violations.

Extractive Industries

The Global Justice Clinic has undertaken legal empowerment projects in the context of extractive industry activities, such as mining.

Mining projects can perpetuate global inequalities, as companies from the Global North extract resources from the Global South, but often provide little of lasting value to the communities where extraction occurs. Due to its scale and inherently dangerous processes, modern metal mining takes a toll on the environment and on nearby communities. Communities affected by mining often lack the information and resources necessary to demand participation and protect their rights. These dynamics are often exacerbated by exclusion and marginalization: the most vulnerable people—in the contexts where the Clinic works, smallholder farmers and indigenous populations—often suffer disproportionate negative consequences of metal mining.

Experience around the world underscores the risks that mining poses to land and water resources, as well as to social structures, livelihoods, and preexisting economic activities. The consequences of metal mining are harder to avoid in countries that lack regulatory supervision and enforcement.

“You cannot defend human rights when you are ‘above’ and the people you are defending are ‘below.’ In a horizontal space, the people have information, consider it, and determine a course of action.”
James Olriche Pierre, Kolektif Jistis Min

Community Partners

The Global Justice Clinic collaborates with community organizations in Haiti, Guyana, and Ghana to document these risks and help prevent violations. In addition, the Clinic facilitates community monitoring efforts and supports local demands for transparency and the right to participate in decisions that affect peoples’ lives.

Related Events
March 1, 2019
Immigrant Rights as Human Rights: A Conversation with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
View Event
March 5, 2018
Community-Driven Justice: Leading from the Grassroots
View Event
February 22, 2017
Legal Empowerment Strategies to Advance the Health and Nutrition Rights of Women in South Asia
View Event

Related Pages

Human Rights in Haiti’s Emerging Mining Sector
Human Rights Methodology and Institutions
RSVP
Degree

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