Than Than Aye is an activist lawyer for human rights. She decided to study law after she saw how her brother and his peers suffered violations of their rights and could not afford a lawyer to defend them. The siblings later created a civil and political organization to help communities empower themselves legally. Than Than is also part of EarthRights International, working with communities in search of justice in themes such as land and human rights. Being a lawyer on the ground is a big challenge and Than Than faces many dangers, but she believes that helping communities is of the utmost importance. Photo credit: EarthRights International
On 30th November 2016, 32 Women from 8 Asian countries congregated at Yangon, Myanmar for the third Regional Exchange Visit of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP). The women shared knowledge on best practices in combating climate change in their communities. Aware of the the impacts of climate change on indigenous women and the significant role they play in conserving natural resources and promoting sustainability, the Asia Indigenous women proposed a set of principal recommendations to climate change policy makers for actions on the Paris Agreement.
Local leader Shining works in solidarity with ethnic minority communities along the Thanlwin River Basin in Myanmar’s Shan State. An alumnus of EarthRights International’s Mekong School, Shining co-founded the Mong Pan Youth Association and Weaving Bonds Across Borders to educate and cultivate leaders at the local and international levels. Through trainings and workshops, she helps to build the communities’ capacity to engage in the EIA process, advocate for their rights, and defend the environment against the proposed Mong Ton Dam and future projects that risk severe short-term and long-term impacts. Photo credit: EarthRights International
Shining, a Burmese environmental rights defender, sustainable development advocate, and cofounder of the Mon-Pan Youth Association and Weaving Across Borders, is empowering youth and local communities to stand up for their rights and protect the environment around the Thanlwin River Basin. She holds training workshops to increase local communities’ understanding of EIA and SIA procedures to better protect themselves against violations of their rights. Photo credit: EarthRights International
The Dawei Special Economic Zone Project, a joint industrial venture of Thailand and Burma, threatens the livelihoods of local families, particularly women. Since the inception of the project, women have been excluded from the decision-making processes, experienced sexual harassment by project workers and suffered from income loss, land confiscation and food insecurity. As DSEZ is in violation of the rights of the local communities as enshrined in various international conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Tavoyan women are taking action to protect their rights through public protests and collective opposition. Photo credit: Tavoyan Women's Union