This September, during the UN General Assembly, countries in Latin America and the Carribean (LAC) region have the chance to make history – to put in place new standards to protect both the environment and those working to protect it by signing the Escazú Agreement.
Today, Justice For All is proud to join over 200 other organizations to share a joint letter to 33 heads of state from the countries in the region to sign the agreement and then adopt rapid and effective measures to implement it in their respective countries. The joint letter can be accessed in English, Español, and Português by clicking the accompanying links. The letter calls on governments to:
“… sign the Escazú Agreement on 27 September 2018 and submit it to the competent national bodies for its immediate ratification. Now is the time to deliver real steps for real change. Latin America and the Caribbean need you to make the promise of the Escazú Agreement a reality for millions of people in the region. We also urge your governments to adopt rapid and effective measures to implement the provisions of the Agreement.”
The Escazú Agreement is significant for many reasons, but notably, it is the first binding instrument for the protection of human rights defenders in environmental matters. Given that last year was the most dangerous year yet for environmental justice defenders, this serves as an important first step in ensuring that people working to secure environmental justice for all are free to carry out their work with communities safely. Learn more here.
Adopted in San José, Costa Rica, by representatives of 24 countries on 4 March, the Escazú Agreement would be the first binding treaty in the region to establish protections for the rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, as well as enshrining the protection of environmental human rights defenders.
“For years, our network members have been calling for something like this; a binding agreement that guarantees a safe and enabling environment for justice defenders, while taking effective measures to prevent and punish attacks aimed at them. This Agreement has the potential to change the lives of our members in Latin America and the Carribean.” – Abigail Moy of the Global Legal Empowerment Network.
All 33 states in Latin America and the Caribbean will have the opportunity to sign the agreement at the UN headquarters in New York from 27 September 2018. At least 11 countries must sign and ratify it by 27 September 2020 for it to come into force.
Want to do more?
Sign the Petition
Tell world leaders to fund and protect justice defenders.
We, the world’s justice defenders and citizens, call on world leaders to keep their promise, made at the United Nations, to ensure all people have equal access to justice. Only by funding and protecting grassroots justice defenders can we make justice, not injustice, the norm. The moment is now. It is time to tip the scales towards #JusticeForAll.
The number of signatures will be shared with governments during the UN General Assembly in September 2018.