Heralded as a development success story, Vietnam has moved from being one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income economy within one generation. The country’s human rights record, however, is very poor, with restrictions on the press, religion and basic freedoms of speech. Activists and journalists who speak out against government policies face harassment, intimidation and arrest. Indigenous groups face losing their land to private sector development without recognition of their rights to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).
Human rights defenders who are trying to protect their land lack understanding of the procedure for applying for equipment, land titles and funding for activities. They also have limited skills and fear the consequences of leading advocacy actions.
How we’re responding
Cord is working with local partners to strengthen the resilience of human rights defenders in Vietnam to protect their land. We’re providing training and accompaniment in the acquisition of land titles and technical support on using digital tools to safely evidence violations. The human rights defenders have received solidarity and support by linking up with people in other countries who face similar challenges. They are also learning how to engage with authorities safely in order to reduce the risk of violence or arrest.
Hope on the horizon
Thousands of families around the world face the threat of losing their land, and with it, their homes and means to survive. But hope is uniting these poor communities; they are rising up against injustice. And you can stand shoulder to shoulder with them.