Human Rights

UN Human Rights Council: Situation of the Belo Monte Dam in the State of Pará

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, James Anaya, submits to the Human Rights Council the present report on specific cases he has examined concerning alleged violations of the human rights of indigenous peoples in many parts of the world. This report includes observations and recommendations by James Anaya on the Belo Monte Dam. Download the full report.  

Ethiopia's Fear Factor: Silencing Dam and Political Critics

Turkana residents protest Gibe 3 Dam, before authorities started cracking down.
Turkana residents protest Gibe 3 Dam, before authorities started cracking down. Lucas Ng'Asike/The Standard The Gibe 3 Dam and Ethiopia's coming elections have something powerful in common: the silencing of dissent at any cost. Ethiopia's government has systematically developed a culture of fear that silences any dissent of the ruling party and its policies. In villages, people fear what they say or do could be reported to officials by their neighbors.  As Gibe 3 Dam is a priority project of Prime Minister Zenawi's government, anyone seen to be critical of the dam – includi

Chixoy Dam

For more than twenty years, communities affected by the Chixoy Dam have demanded reparations for the damages caused by the project, which was built during Guatemala's most repressive military dictatorship. The project, financed by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, was built on the Chixoy River in the early 1980s and forcibly displaced more than 3,500 Maya Achi community members.

Ethiopia Cracks Down on Dissent

Kenyans have more freedom to protest Gibe 3 Dam than Ethiopians. (Photo courtesy Friends of Lake Turkana)
Kenyans have more freedom to protest Gibe 3 Dam than Ethiopians. (Photo courtesy Friends of Lake Turkana) We recently received the good news that the African Development Bank’s independent investigative unit (known as the CRMU) registered our request to investigate problems on the Gibe 3 Dam in Ethiopia. Investigations by the CRMU and the similar World Bank Inspection Panel are just about the only way that project-affected people can get recourse for problems caused by Bank-supported big dams and other infrastructure projects. Although we at International Rivers are not directly affected,

Hu Jia Represents China’s Best Hope

The European Parliament last week awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Europe’s most prestigious human rights award, to the Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia. The new generation of civil society activists whom Hu Jia represents is China’s best hope for addressing the country’s enormous social and environmental problems. The award’s condemnation by the Chinese government is a sign of weakness and fear. Hu Jia started out as an activist against environmental destruction and for the rights of AIDS victims. He began to promote human rights more generally when he realiz

The Xingu Alive Forever: When life is cheap

Dorothy Stang, murdered American nun
Dorothy Stang, murdered American nun archive Seeing him waving the "V' for victory sign yesterday, and hearing him thank divine justice for his acquittal on appeal after initially being convicted and sentenced to 30 years, rancher Vitalmiro de Moura Bastos, or "Bida" reminded me of the killers of civil rights workers in the South who smirked when were absolved for their crimes. But, this is the Amazon, not the South, and it´s 2008. And, the murder Bida was absolved of was that of an American nun, Dorothy Stang, rather than a Black youth who dared to assert his rights.

Under the Boot: new report exposes military face of Chinese investment in Burma

Saturday, December 1, 2007
Exclusive photos and testimonies from a remote village near the China-Burma border uncover how Chinese dam builders are using Burma Army troops to secure Chinese investments. Under the Boot, a new report by Palaung researchers, details the implementation of the Shweli Dam project, China's first Build-Operate-Transfer hydropower deal with Burma's junta. Since 2000, the Palaung village of Man Tat, the site of the 600 megawatt dam project, has been overrun by hundreds of Burmese troops and Chinese construction workers. Villagers have been suffering land confiscation, forced labour, and restricti

Peticion ante el Tribunal Latinoamericano del Agua

Sunday, March 6, 2005
Petición presentada por el Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a la Presa La Parota ante el Tribunal Latinoamericano del Agua estableciendo la falta de consulta de parte de la Comisión Federal de Electricidad para la realización del proyecto; y la violencia asociada con este. En este documento también se resumen los impactos sociales y ambientales que generaría el proyecto. Bajar documento

Despite Protests, Burma's Junta and China Pushing Ahead with First Dam on the Irrawaddy

Monday, October 22, 2007
Media Contacts Below Chinese companies have begun a project to build a giant 152-meter-high dam on the Irrawaddy River, the first to block one of Asias great river systems. Damming the Irrawaddy, a new report launched today by the Kachin Development Networking Group, exposes the social and environmental impacts of the dam, including the displacement of an estimated 10,000 people in northern Burmas Kachin State. The military junta ruling Burma is allowing Chinese partners to manage the project that would transmit electricity to China and potentially generate over US$500 million in revenues pe

Millions More to be Moved for Three Gorges Dam

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Chinese authorities have announced that as many as four million more people may need to be forcibly resettled to address the ever-increasing environmental impacts of the Three Gorges Dam Project. The people would be moved to curb pollution and prevent further erosion of the reservoir banks, which already threatens an environmental catastrophe and the project’s viability. International Rivers Network is extremely concerned about the dam’s human cost, which is spiraling out of control. More than one million people have already been forcibly displaced by the project, which is the biggest


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