Project Code: STATE-USA-OES-3
|Project Title||Environmental Defenders Research Project|
|Project Summary||Analysis of cases and trends in countries with the highest levels of violence against environmental defenders in order to determine how to reduce violence through protecting environmental defenders, preventing further violence, and furthering accountability for violence.|
|Agency||Department of State|
|Number of Interns||4|
NGO Global Witness and its partners documented in July 2019 the killing of more than 164 environmental and land defenders in 2018 – an average of more than three people each week – and 207 killings in 2017, the highest year reported. Many deaths go unreported; many more environmental defenders face abduction, assault, spurious lawsuits, and other threats. NGO Front Line Defenders reported in January 2020 that 40% of the 304 human rights defenders killed in 2019 were defending land, environmental, or indigenous peoples’ rights, often in the context of extractive industries and state-aligned megaprojects. Although this was a decrease from 77% of the HRDs killed in 2018, Front Line Defenders reported environmental, land, and indigenous defense remains the most dangerous sector of human rights defense
In numerous international fora, this issue is emerging as a critical problem largely unaddressed by governments. The violence is damaging U.S. foreign policy interests relating to the environment, democracy and governance, commerce, energy, and law enforcement. To reduce this violence, OES needs virtual interns to assist a senior advisor for environment as she develops a proposed approach for the Department, coordinates with other U.S. agencies, and ideally positions our strategy to inform a global response. Given the rigorous nature of the research to be presented to embassies and an interagency working group, we are seeking interns who can devote on average a minimum of 20 hours a week to this internship.
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