Oil flares in Ecuador

Poor countries that are rich in natural resources have too often seen the well-being of their people and ecosystems deteriorate as a result of destructive, irresponsible resource extraction. This is commonly known as the “resource curse,” whereby foreign investors and local elites extract great wealth from poor countries while leaving behind a legacy of social inequality, political corruption, and ecological damage. KAIROS works with our global partners to play our part in breaking this curse.

One cornerstone of sustainability is the right of communities to exercise free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) over developments that will affect their well-being, their enjoyment of human rights, and the integrity of local ecosystems. KAIROS partners are working to empower poor and marginalized populations in resource-rich countries to participate in decision-making that affects their lives. Our partners in the global South are opening up democratic space in their countries to debate the role of resource extraction in reducing poverty. They are challenging economic policies that promote foreign-owned resource extraction as the only path towards development. In some cases, they are advocating for stronger regulatory regimes to maximize fiscal and economic benefits to the local population, and hold companies responsible for cleaning up their environmental messes. In other cases, they are rejecting resource extraction and embracing alternative economic development paths such as sustainable agriculture and forestry, ecotourism and other activities. This movement to “keep the oil in the soil” and promote food sovereignty is emerging as a popular response to the triple crisis of hunger, poverty and climate change.


APPEAL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION: Call for justice for the victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines

According to KARAPATAN, the national alliance of human rights organizations in the Philippines, 169 men and women had been victims of extrajudicial killings under the current government of President  Benigno Simeon Aquino III (July 2010 to December 2013.)   From January to March this year, 19 people were killed — 9 of these in March […]

Ethical Reflections on Fracking

Fracking Protest

The practice of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for shale gas and oil raises significant ecological and Indigenous rights issues. On 8 April 2014, KAIROS released a discussion paper inviting our member churches to consider whether KAIROS should endorse a moratorium on fracking. The paper documents several ecological issues, including the connection between fracking and water contamination, earthquakes and the release of methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. It also describes how Indigenous peoples in North and South America are at the forefront of resistance to fracking.

Sisters are mining for the truth

Angelica Choc

Rachel Warden, gender justice coordinator at KAIROS, draws the relationship between the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention in Toronto, International Women’s Day, and violence against women in this article published in Toronto’s NOW magazine.

Bringing a message of urgency and hope from Congo to Parliament Hill


The KAIROS “Women of Courage” delegation to DRC reunited in Ottawa in December 2013 to brief politicians on the urgent situation in eastern Congo and what Canada can do to help build peace and prosperity. Read more about their recommendations.

Holy Trouble in the Watershed

sara cat and cod

Whether it’s overfishing or the environmental and human rights impacts of resource extraction, as watershed disciples we are sometimes called to make holy trouble. In this sermon at Toronto’s Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, KAIROS member relations and campaigns coordinator Sara Stratton explores a new model for faith- and place-based social justice work.

Joint Review Panel report on proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline Project downplays Indigenous and ecological concerns


Despite overwhelming opposition from First Nations and their allies, the Joint Review Panel has given the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project conditional approval.

Reconciliation in the Watershed


In this homily given at Toronto’s Church of the Holy Trinity on December 15,  KAIROS Member Relations  and Campaigns Coordinator Sara Stratton reflects on the connections between the Truth and Reconciliation commission and the pursuit of Watershed Discipleship. What will your “acts of kindness bespeaking kinship” be?

Dusty Shoes or Golden Slippers


by Ellen Wood Ellen Wood is a grain, cattle and apple orchard farmer as well as an ordained  United Church minister, now semi-retired.   She has worked on many social justice causes, most recently the tar sands and the nuclear debate in Saskatchewan.  Ellen is the UCC rep on the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation. […]

Bringing a Message of Hope for DR Congo to Parliament Hill


With recent talk of peace returning to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, KAIROS is hopeful peace-building efforts will continue at all levels – from international diplomacy between DRC and its neighbours, down to the grassroots level at which our Congolese partners work every day. We will bring this message of hope to Parliament Hill on December 5, when members of the Women of Courage delegation to DRC, organized by KAIROS in June 2013, will meet with Parliamentarians to discuss the actions Canada has taken and can take to help build peace and stability in this troubled region.

You Are Not Alone


Barbara Fullerton, a United Church minister from Paris, Ontario recounts her experience with members of the El Estor human rights defender work team, and reminds us that we are all in this together.