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West African Human Rights Defender Conference

March 29 @ 2:00 pm - March 31 @ 5:30 pm UTC+0

Human Rights Defenders, especially Frontline Grassroots Environmental, Land, and Human Rights Defenders in West Africa, face challenging and threatening situations that make the work they do very difficult. Given the enormous barriers and risks they face in their work, there is an urgent need to understand better who these Frontline Grassroots Defenders are, what strategies they use to keep themselves safe, and where the gaps are — to connect the unconnected and establish a support and response mechanism for frontline grassroots environmental, land, and human rights defenders across West Africa. 

A recent report co-authored by Alfred Lahai Brownell Sr., Tom & Andi Bernstein Visitin g Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School; Green Advocates International, a human rights organization in Liberia; The Mano River Union Civil Society Natural Resources Rights and Governance Platform and several other human rights organizations in West Africa seeks to fill those needs. The report is a comprehensive baseline assessment that compiles the experiences, knowledge, lessons learned, skills, expertise, and practices of Frontline Grassroots Defenders across the West African region.

The report was commissioned by the Steering Committee of Mano River Union Civil Society Natural Resources Rights and Governance Platform which include :

Abu Brimah- Executive Director/Network Movement for Justice  and Development/Sierra Leone

Augustine Niber- Executive Director/Center for Public Interest Law-Ghana

Barrister Prince Chima Williams-Acting Executive Director /Friend of the Earth Nigeria

Dr. Michel YOBOUE- Executive Director/the Extractive Industries Research and Advocacy Group (GRPIE)/ Côte D’ Ivoire

Alfred Brownell- Lead Campaigner/Green Advocates International /Liberia

The Mano River Union Civil Society Natural Resources Rights and Governance Planform (MRU-
CSO Platform) is a network of environmental and human rights defenders indigenous, urban slums and squatter comm unities; communities affected by the operations of multinational corporations; bloggers, labor unions and poor informal entrepreneurs on the frontline of corporate investments in West Africa. Its membership is drawn from nine of the fifteen countries in West Africa. Namely: Liberia, Sierra Leone, La Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, Mali,Nigeria, Niger and Senegal

This upcoming Webinar/Conference, which will take place from March 29th to 31st, is intended to validate the findings and tools designed from the baseline assessments, facilitate experience-sharing, and build solidarity actions and networks across the West Africa region.

Register for the conference below. Please note that each session of the conference will be capped at 300 participants. You will receive a link to the conference session(s) you registered for within a few days of your registration.





Schedule & Conference Materials:

You can find the draft schedule for this conference here. Further changes may be made to the program. You can also read the Executive Summary for the report here.


      • Advocates for Community Alternatives
      • Defend the Defender Coalition
      • ESCR-Net – International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
      • Global Witness 
      • Green Advocates International 
      • International Service for Human Rights
      • Mano River Union Civil Society Natural Resources Rights and Governance Platform
      • Open Society Foundation 
      • PHRGE/Northeastern University School of Law

Public Interest Lawyers Initiatives for West Africa

  • The Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School
  • Tulane University School of Law
  • West Africa Human Rights Defenders Network
  • West African Journalists Association


March 29 @ 2:00 pm UTC+0
March 31 @ 5:30 pm UTC+0


Yale Law School