The Law and Advocacy Working Group

The Law and Advocacy Working Group is a group of international, regional and national-level civil society organizations. We have come together to strengthen international and national policy and legal frameworks to secure the recognition and protection of Indigenous, Land and Environmental Defenders (ILEDs) and their work. Through coordinated action and collective efforts, we seek to address the root causes of attacks against ILEDs, including impunity, organized crime and corruption. Jointly with our advocacy efforts, we seek to leverage the law to empower defenders and their communities, and we work with lawyers across the world to secure enhanced access to justice by ILEDs.

  Multilateral Advocacy

        • Schedule and facilitate advocacy coordination calls with stakeholders before significant events.
        • Coordinate multilateral advocacy efforts with civil society organizations and individuals through our multilateral advocacy tracker, aiming to strengthen frameworks for environmental, land, and indigenous defenders in various fora.
        • Strengthen the multilateral advocacy capacities of defenders and grassroots organizations by sharing information on effectively utilizing these spaces and the opportunities available to significantly influence relevant agendas and decisions.

Addressing impunity and corruption

      • Plan and execute strategy sessions aimed at addressing accountability as a driver of violence against defenders.
      • Facilitate discussions and coordinated responses that leverage anti-corruption efforts to address attacks on defenders, civil society initiatives, and support requirements.

increasing leverage points available to defenders to stop violence

      • Work with embassies to advocate for defender rights, compile best practices and practical information, assist defenders in engaging with embassies and provide guidance on accessing embassy resources.
      • Prepare a short guide on embassy engagement for defenders.
      • Collect and disseminate resources to address the criminalization of defenders and SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation).
      • Build capacities within the network to prevent and respond effectively to SLAPPs and other forms of legal harassment.
      • Provide guidance and support to members on navigating legal challenges.
      • Foster collaborations with legal experts and organizations specializing in defending human rights defenders facing legal threats.
      • Advocate for policy reforms and international mechanisms to combat the misuse of legal systems to silence defenders and stifle activism.

strengthening communications and advocacy skills

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to organize effective media engagement training sessions on both global and regional levels.
  • Launch and disseminate solidarity campaigns to elevate the work and voices of defenders.
  • Position positive narratives about environmental defense through a combined campaigning and capacity-building strategy that addresses civil society, the media, and companies.

    Environmental Rights Agreement in Africa – ERA

    In the wake of the climate emergency, environmental rights are critical tools for ensuring African communities are not left out of the environmental and development decisions that will transform the continent in the coming decades. A regional environmental rights instrument offers the opportunity to safeguard Indigenous, Land and Environmental Defenders (ILEDs) and guarantee a just transition.

    How We Work

    We search for common ground, and we seek to bring the voices of defenders to multilateral and national fora. We are guided by the following principles:


    • Long-term commitment
    • Strengthening and empowering local and grassroots legal advisors
    • Inclusion
    • Systemic change
    • Solidarity