River communities’ rights are deeply entwined with the environment. The fragmentation, over-extraction and pollution of river systems threatens fundamental rights to water, food, housing, health, livelihoods and culture.
Large dams have a particularly troubled human rights record: According to the World Commission on Dams report, they:
…forced some 40-80 million people from their lands in the 20th century. Legions of dam refugees – largely indigenous, tribal and peasant communities – have been economically, culturally and psychologically devastated. Millions have suffered from the diseases dams bring, and an estimated 400-800 million people have faced downstream changes.
Our Work to Protect Human Rights
Around the world, environmental defenders face growing threats to their lives and safety. We work with community leaders, women, indigenous peoples and civil society activists to draw attention to these threats, support their efforts to protect their lands and waters, and plan for a just energy transition.
Take Action for dam collapse victims
Thousands of people lost their homes when faulty construction led to a devastating dam collapse in southern Laos. Those responsible for the construction of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower project must be held accountable.
- A global call to action on the situation in MyanmarMarch 30, 2021 We stand with our partners and friends in Myanmar. We mourn the tragic loss of life and condemn the brutal violence and unimaginable terror they are facing….
- Water, Women, and Governance: What are the challenges for gender equity? (Webinar)On March 30, 2021, at 5 pm, Brasília time, the Water Governance Observatory (OGA), the Institute of Water and Sanitation (Instituto Água e Saneamento, IAS), International Rivers and Fundación Avina…
- Op-Ed | Women Bear the Highest Cost of InjusticeBy: Pai Deetes, Regional Campaigns and Communications Director, Southeast Asia ProgramInternational Rivers Op-ed originally published on Bangkok Post Soithip, an ethnic Karen-Thai woman from Bang Kloi in the Kaeng Krachan…
- Damming Rivers Is Terrible for Human Rights, Ecosystems, and Food SecurityBy: Deborah Moore, International Rivers Board Member Darryl Knudsen, Executive Director Michael Simon, former Senior Director of Strategy This article was originally featured on Truthout There’s some good news amid…
- International Rivers stands in solidarity with the people affected by the 2021 Uttarakhand disasterInternational Rivers expresses our sorrow and regret over the tragic loss of life and destruction in a disastrous flash flood affecting the Chamoli district and other parts of India’s Uttarakhand…