THE POWER OF LAW MEETS THE POWER OF PEOPLE IN DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
EarthRights is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that combines the power of law with the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, which we define as “earth rights.” We take legal action against perpetrators of earth rights abuses, train activists, and work with communities to demand meaningful and lasting change.
We are a team of community leaders, campaigners, and legal strategists who challenge the powerful corporations, governments, and financial institutions that violate peoples’ rights and destroy our planet for profit.
We rise in defense of communities and the planet, using the power of law and the power of people in pursuit of justice.
Our 2020-2024 Strategic Plan
THE POWER OF LAW MEETS THE POWER OF PEOPLE
In the 1990s, three young people joined together to leverage the power of law and the power of people to defend communities in Burma (Myanmar) from human rights abuses. Two multinational oil companies, Total and Unocal, joined with the Burmese army to militarize a pipeline project, resulting in forced labor, land grabs, torture, rape, extrajudicial killings, and attacks on Indigenous and ethnic minority communities.
These companies tried to profit off of human rights violations. Two young U.S. law students, Katie and Tyler, and an exiled Burmese human rights activist, Ka Hsaw Wa, made sure that they didn’t get away with it.
In 1996, they filed a lawsuit against Unocal for egregious human rights violations, and in 2003 Unocal was forced to settle. From that groundbreaking lawsuit, EarthRights was formed. And now, over 25 years later, our growing team of campaigners, community activists, legal experts, and storytellers continue to secure earth rights for all.
“Those of us who have been dedicated to protecting humans and those who have focused on the environment must recognize that we work at cross purposes if we do not work together.”–Ka Hsaw Wa, EarthRights Co-Founder and Executive Director
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