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Population and Climate Change Vulnerability : Understanding Current Trends to Enhance Rights and Resilience

July 1, 2023

In many of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, populations are growing significantly faster than in the world as a whole. This rapid growth tends to exacerbate vulnerability at the household, community, and national level, as increasing human needs face growing strains from ever more damaging extremes of weather and water in a warming world. At the same time, rapid growth can undermine efforts to build resilience and adaptive capacity. Yet few climate change adaptation plans assess demographic factors in preparing for future climate change vulnerability.This report brings together population, gender, and reproductive health indicators for the 80 most vulnerable countries in the world and highlights how the convergence of these trends creates significant challenges for resilience and adaptation over the long term. The report offers hope by showcasing community efforts in five countries that employ innovative policy and program approaches to advance gender equity, reproductive health and rights, and climate change adaptation in an integrated fashion. Scaling up such efforts offers significant untapped opportunity to strengthen both near-term and long-term prospects for adaptation and resilience.

Migration Narratives in Northern Central America: How Competing Stories Shape Policy and Public Opinion in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador

June 7, 2023

The stories told within a society about migration and migrants paint a rich picture of how its members view the opportunities and challenges associated with the movement of people, and through what lenses. These migration narratives both inform policymaking and shape the public's reaction to government policy, affecting the policies' chances of achieving their goals.While El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are primarily known for emigration to the United States and Mexico, these northern Central American countries have seen notable changes in migration trends in recent years. The number of migrants from South America and the Caribbean who transit through these countries on their way north has increased, as has the number of Central Americans returning to their countries of origin.

Selling industrial "gallina criolla" products in Guatemala: Implications for consumers, producers, heritage, and biodiversity

December 27, 2022

The term gallina criolla used in this report refers to chickens that are the heritage of the peasant and indigenous peoples of Guatemala. The report differentiates gallina criolla from industrial chicken to make clear the distinction between the two extremes of chicken production in Guatemala and to highlight the problematic use of certain words and images in food marketing in the country.Many Guatemalans have transitioned from occasionally eating gallina criolla (produced with agroecological practices) to regularly consuming broiler chickens from industrial farms. This change has not been random. It has been promoted by politicians as well as poultry businesses.But the chicken industry's main competitor in Guatemala has always been and continues to be gallina criolla. Many Guatemalans, especially indigenous and peasant people, continue to consume gallina criolla. As a result, global food companies have begun offering their own industrial product lines of "gallina criolla" fresh chicken, consommes, and instant soups.This report details these new corporate marketing tactics of competing with gallina criolla. It explains and illustrates how recent company efforts to sell industrial "gallina criolla" products using words and images associated with the production systems of indigenous and peasant peoples are misleading because these products contain only industrial chicken. By claiming to be "gallina criolla," the commercial products may misleadingly convince consumers to eat unalike industrial substitutes. The case of industrial "gallina criolla" products in Guatemala is one example of how global food businesses expand into local markets around the world.The report ends by detailing how people in other countries have resisted similar corporate appropriation of existing agrarian and cultural symbols to sell unalike industrial products. Possible actions that could be taken in Guatemala include the brands voluntarily revising their marketing practices, consumers boycotting the products, or legal defenders challenging the companies in courts using the country's misleading advertising laws. 

Write for Rights 2021 Campaign Report

April 12, 2022

In 2021 Write for Rights (W4R) was 20 years old. Beginning as grassroots activism in Poland, the campaign now sees over 70 Amnesty entities taking part and people in 120 countries around the world taking action either in person or online.Covid-19 continued to impact campaigning for Write for Rights, with many countries still imposing strict rules around group gatherings. There was however light at the end of the tunnel for some national entities, who did manage to hold in person events. For those who couldn't, the innovations and 'outside the box' thinking continued, with creativity and technology helping make restrictions less restrictive!As we rapidly head into planning for Write for Rights 2022, now is the time to reflect on what we all did together and the amazing ways we worked for positive human rights change in the lives of 10 individuals and communities at risk. 

Changing chicken in Guatemala: Relevance of poultry to income generation, food security, health, and nutrition

April 20, 2020

KEYWORDS: Chickens and eggs. Industrial production. Consumption. Guatemala. HIGHLIGHTS: *This report or Guidance Memo explains the major role played by: (1) a few powerful home-grown businesses and brands, (2) cross-border and international trade and policies, in flooding Guatemala with industrially-produced chickens in the last half century. *It brings to the fore public health, food justice, and other significant issues that should be emphasized in campaigns to defeat "industrial chicken" there. *The Guidance Memo also exposes assertions and myths that help to hold in place chickens' current popularity with consumers (e.g. the claim that producing chickens industrially is important to the country's economy, but the fact is that economic benefits accrue mainly to the country's most powerful families like the Gutiérrez-Bosches who own Pollo Campero and Pollo Rey). *Provides practical strategies and actions that one can take to turn things round (e.g. challenge industry claims through magazine articles and social media, valorize indigenous culinary knowledge and promote consumption of nutrient-rich native legumes, form alliance across permaculture and other food movements).

Leaders, Contexts, and Complexities: IFP Impacts in Latin America

November 16, 2017

The third report from our 10-year tracking study of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP), Leaders, Contexts, and Complexities provides an in-depth look at the lives and careers of IFP alumni in three Latin American countries: Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with 268 alumni, former IFP staff, community members, and other stakeholders, the fieldwork paints a complex picture that highlights the opportunities of the IFP experience against the challenges posed by local social and political realities.Myriad examples emerged from the fieldwork of ways the IFP fellowship has helped boost the individual lives and social justice careers of many members of Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico's most disadvantaged communities. IFP alumni in these countries are serving in leadership roles, most often in academia, government, and civil society organizations. They are directing research centers, serving as vice ministers of education, and leading organizations that work on a wide range of social justice issues such as cultural preservation, indigenous and human rights, and youth development. At the same time, home country contextual challenges have limited the extent to which some alumni have been able to advance their careers, their organizations, and social progress more generally. Several alumni have faced significant challenges because of continued discrimination and difficult labor market conditions in their home countries. In contrast, some alumni in Brazil have been able to leverage the introduction of affirmative action programs and other policies aimed at addressing inequities to advance their social justice aims. Taken together, these findings show that local environments matter.

Coral Reef Alliance: 2015 Annual Report

May 1, 2016

Over the past year, we have accomplished a great deal in our efforts to save coral reefs and we are excited to share these successes in our 2015 Annual Report. We also want to share our vision for the future of coral reefs and how this inspires our ongoing work. Many of the benefits from our reefs depend on living corals. Corals are the architects of the reef, and build the structures that provide nurseries and shelter for millions of sea animals. They provide people with livelihoods from fisheries and tourism, storm protection and sources for new medicines. These benefits are at risk as coral reefs decline around the world, but together, we can save them. Corals are struggling due to local pressures and global climate change; however, we have identified a solution that will help corals build reefs and maintain the needed benefits for people and wildlife. The answer is in the corals themselves. Corals are incredibly diverse, with many species and varieties spread across the reefs. Corals haveadapted for hundreds of millions of years, and if allowed, will continue to do so. For example, some corals can live in warmer water; others can thrive in polluted oceans. Special corals like these, and their offspring, may be best suited for the reefs of the future. Our aim is to ensure that enough of these corals survive on enough healthy coral reefs so they can repopulate other nearby reef sites. In this way, corals—and everything that depends on them—will have an opportunity to adapt to a changing environment.

No Health, No Help

April 1, 2016

Chaining, public humiliation, abduction, and prayer. If these were treatments offered for diabetes or heart disease, we would see them as cruel and abusive. Yet these are tactics used widely in centers for the "treatment and rehabilitation" of people who use drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean.These abusive centers often operate unlawfully and without medical or governmental supervision. People are often brought to these centers against their will, by family members, by police, or by gangs of center residents. Families are not aware of the conditions in the center, or don't know where else to turn. These practices run counter to evidence-based drug treatments recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and reveal how often drug dependency is treated as a moral failing rather than a medical condition. As regional governments prepare for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in April, defining what truly constitutes a "public health approach" to drug policy is increasingly important.No Health, No Help: Abuse as Drug Rehabilitation in Latin America & the Caribbean is a compilation of reports by researchers and civil society in six countries—Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The report details the extreme human rights abuses occurring in the name of "rehabilitation," and offers recommendations for how governments can work to improve drug treatment in these countries. 

No Health, No Help: Spanish

April 1, 2016

Chaining, public humiliation, abduction, and prayer. If these were treatments offered for diabetes or heart disease, we would see them as cruel and abusive. Yet these are tactics used widely in centers for the "treatment and rehabilitation" of people who use drugs in Latin America and the Caribbean.These abusive centers often operate unlawfully and without medical or governmental supervision. People are often brought to these centers against their will, by family members, by police, or by gangs of center residents. Families are not aware of the conditions in the center, or don't know where else to turn. These practices run counter to evidence-based drug treatments recommended by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and reveal how often drug dependency is treated as a moral failing rather than a medical condition. As regional governments prepare for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in April, defining what truly constitutes a "public health approach" to drug policy is increasingly important.No Health, No Help: Abuse as Drug Rehabilitation in Latin America & the Caribbean is a compilation of reports by researchers and civil society in six countries—Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The report details the extreme human rights abuses occurring in the name of "rehabilitation," and offers recommendations for how governments can work to improve drug treatment in these countries. 

2015 Report Card for the Mesoamerican Reef

May 9, 2015

In 2013 and 2014, HRI and partners systematically measured the health of 248 reef sites across 1,000 km of the four countries. This 2015 Report Card represents the first year that HRI has calculated and presented more detailed maps of coral reef condition on a variety of spatial scales -- from regional to local. Regional scale data provide insight on larger scale reef health patterns that can help identify transboundary issues, while subregional and local data help detect finer-scale patterns of reef condition. The country-focused maps provide individual indicator scores at the site level. These new data maps provide guidance for partners on where to focus conservation actions at the most appropriate, effective management scale.The overall 2015 Reef Health Index score is 'fair', with encouraging improvements at both the regional level and of individual indicators. Corals -- the architects of the reef -- have improved since 2006, increasing from 10%-16% cover. Fleshy macroalgae, the main competitors with corals for open reef space, have increased. Key herbivorous fish continue to increase in numbers and are needed to reduce this macroalgae. Commercial fish have also increased in biomass, which is an encouraging sign, although large groupers are rare and mainly found in fully protected zones of MPAs.

Unaccompanied Child Migration to the United States: The Tension between Protection and Prevention

April 22, 2015

Between 2011 and 2014 the number of Central American children and "family units" arriving at the US-Mexico border grew rapidly, reaching a peak of 137,000 in fiscal year 2014. While many of these migrants have valid claims for political asylum or other forms of humanitarian relief, others are primarily motivated by economic concerns and a desire to reconnect with family members-- constituting a complex, mixed flow that has challenged the capacity of the United States to respond. This report makes recommendations on policies that advance both critical protection and enforcement goals in situations of complex, mixed flows. It explains the shifting pattern of Central American migration between 2011 and 2014, analyzes why inflows during this period prompted a particularly acute policy challenge, and outlines the U.S. and regional policy responses put into place to address the crisis. The report concludes with recommendations on additional policies that the United States, Mexico, and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador; Guatemala, and Honduras might adopt to better manage child and family migration pressures today and in the future.

Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change

July 29, 2014

This report analyzes the growing body of evidence linking community forest rights with healthier forests and lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.This report makes a strong case for strengthening the rights of indigenous and local communities over their forests as a policy tool for mitigating climate change.