For communities whose rights and environment have been negatively affected by development, access to justice via international accountability mechanisms can complement and bolster national efforts to ensure respect for human rights and the environment. CIEL, together with colleagues, has supported the creation and strengthening of these mechanisms over the last twenty-five years, and we are dedicated to supporting local communities in their use of these mechanisms to defend their rights to land and natural resources. As climate finance expands, we are working to ensure redress mechanisms are adequately addressed and implemented in this area as well.
As with any collaboration with an affected community, CIEL places a strong emphasis on empowering communities to identify their own goals and to speak with their own voices in the complaints processes to the greatest extent possible, as they are in the best position to know how their needs will be met. CIEL seeks to ensure that the process is fair and that the playing field is level.
Our work supporting communities to bring complaints is critical not only for improving the well-being of the communities themselves, but also to make the case for policy change to prevent future violations.