The project was a multi-year many-partner endeavour: FIAN, ISS, PLAAS (the institute for Poverty, Land, and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa), and TNI collaborated with local partners in Nigeria (ERA/Friends of the Earth Nigeria), Mali (CNOP- Coordination Nationale des Organisations Paysannes), Uganda (Katosi Women Development Trust), and SouthAfrica (Masifundise Development Trust). The project focused on Action Research, carried out by the country partners, working with communities of peasants and fishers whose access to land or resources (including fisheries) were being threatened by land, water, and resource grabbing. The project sought to find ways that these communities could use the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of the Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests (VGGTs or TGs), an international soft law instrument endorsed by the UN Committee on Food Security in 2012, to strengthen their rights and push for bottom-up accountability.
Initially focusing on coca producing areas in the Andean Region, TNI's work on Drugs & Conflict has since expanded to cover the world’s main opium producing areas with a focus on Myanmar and Afghanistan. Over the past two decades, TNI staff has worked extensively with local organisations and researchers to advocate for more inclusive, effective and humane approaches to drug related issues in these conflict situations, while analysing the links between drug use, production, and conflict and what these mean for efforts to promote peaceful and just societies. TNI also focuses on promoting the rights of local communities involved in the cultivation of crops declared illicit, and their involvement in drug policy making, the peace process and the design and implementation of development programmes.
For years, TNI’s work in Colombia has largely focussed on how public policies and political processes have affected (rural) communities and their collective efforts to democratise access to land, water, and other natural resources. In doing so, TNI has collaborated with local organisations and researchers, while simultaneously building bridges between grassroots movements and policymakers at the national and international level.
After more than four years of peace talks in Havana, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have taken important steps towards a definitive agreement to end the decades-long armed conflict in the country. This page provides some background information as well as TNI’s most recent analyses and advocacy work in relation with various social and economic issues that are essential factors in creating territorial peace in Colombia.
The UN drug control system has been in place for more than half a century. Does it still serve its purpose or is reform of its legal and institutional architecture needed? There are many questions about outdated provisions, unintended consequences and tensions with today's UN norms in the fields of human rights, development, as well as peace and security. Find critical background and proposals for reform in this collection.
The TNI/CEDD (Colectivo de Estudios Drogas y Derecho / Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law ) Drug Law Reform Project promotes more effective and humane drug policies through analysis of existing drug control policies and by promoting dialogue among key stakeholders and decision-makers. The project is focused on Latin America and hopes to stimulate reforms by pointing out good practices and lessons learned in areas such as proportionality of sentences, prison reform, and the status of the coca leaf in the international conventions.
Transformative Cities is an opportunity for progressive local governments, municipalist coalitions, social movements and civil society organizations to popularize and share their experiences of tackling and finding solutions to our planet’s systemic economic, social, political and ecological crisis.
The initiative draws on the emerging wave of transformative political practices taking place at municipal level worldwide, by launching a unique award process that will ensure that the lessons and inspiration of these cities becomes viral.
The Ecuadorian Citizens’ Commission for a Comprehensive Audit of Investment Protection Treaties and of the International Arbitration System on Investments (CAITISA) was set up by the Ecuadorian goverment to audit the country's investment treaties and make recommendations to the government.
The commission was comprised of government officials, academics, lawyers and civil society groups, including the foremost expert on investment law, Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah and the former Attorney General for Argentina, Osvaldo Guglielmino. Our own TNI researcher Cecilia Olivet was nominated president.
In May 2017, the Commission's report was published and its recommendations to terminate the country's Bilateral Investment Treaties accepted by the government.
Climate change mitigation/adaptation and land grabbing are not necessarily isolated or separate phenomena. In many parts of the world such initiatives are hitting the ground in the same spaces and at the same time, often alongside environmental conservation programs as well. When they overlap and intersect, the results can be socially and politically explosive. In the transitional settings of Cambodia and Myanmar, old conflicts are being enflamed and new conflicts are being ignited, while customary ways of life and production systems are being branded as destructive or inefficient (or both) and ordinary villagers are being squeezed out.
Using collaborative action research the MOSAIC project is working to strengthen understanding of these dynamics and build capacity for more effective state policies and grassroots action and interaction, for socially and environmentally just outcomes in the case study areas and beyond.
Rising repression and restrictions for civil society organisations and social movements have put the issue of 'shrinking space' on the NGO agenda. TNI believes that “political space” for civil society is not ‘shrinking’, but rather being taken away, closed down and rendered uninhabitable by the same forces that have hollowed out democracy and placed it at the service of corporations and private interests. TNI is is working with activists and academics to probe the issue critically.
The European Union has a common Security and Defence Policy that sets the agenda on border control and crisis management within the EU as well as how the union responds to global security challenges such as climate change. In addition, many of the EU member states are major military powers in their own right, home to some of the largest arms companies.
On 21 September 1976 Chilean secret service agents set off a car bomb in Washington DC killing TNI's director, Orlando Letelier along with Ronni Moffitt, a fundraiser for the Institute for Policy Studies. Here you will find an overview of dossiers, articles and news related to this brutal assassination, from the steps taken to bring the persons primarily responsible for his assassination to justice, to the The Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards: An award given in honor of our fallen colleagues while celebrating new heroes of the human rights movement from the United States and the Americas.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free trade agreement, in negotiation, between the United States and the European Union. Its proponents claim that the agreement will benefit consumers with lower prices, increased competition and more jobs.
However, very little of the TTIP deals with trade; the vast majority of the agreement relates to government regulations and will therefore have huge implications in matters such as food sovereignty, digital rights and the environment. It will limit the capacity of governments and local groups to regulate and increase the capacity of transnational corporations to act with impunity. TNI’s focus for TTIP and other free trade agreements is on the investment chapter, and particularly the problems caused by Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms that allow corporations to sue governments for actions that affect their profits.
People across the world are taking back power over the energy sector, kicking-back against the rule of the market and re-imagining how energy might be produced, distributed and used. How can the concept of energy democracy be deployed to demand a socially just energy system, with universal access, fair prices and secure, unionised and well-paid jobs?
Investment protection mechanisms give corporations the right to sue states if they take any measures – including public interest legislation – that might threaten profits. Wellknown versions of this is the Investor state-dispute mechanism (ISDS) which after rising controversy and critisism has been replaced by the Investment court system (ICS). Investment protection mechanisms are included in most new FTAs. Nevertheless, several governments are starting to reconsider their commitments to it as they recognize the danger that it poses to their sovereignty. TNI has produced extensive research highlighting how investment protection gives corporations far-reaching rights that curtail governments’ sovereignty and drain limited public budgets. It has also revealed the big stakes the legal industry has in these mechanisms.