GANHRI Caucus on Human Rights and Climate Change 

GANHRI Caucus on Human Rights and Climate Change 

In light of the specific collaboration and cooperation with the UN partners on climate change, GANHRI established a Caucus comprised of 34 NHRIs from the four regions interested in working together on human rights and climate change.

The purpose of the GANHRI Caucus on Human Rights and Climate Change is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices among NHRIs across all regions in addressing climate change from a human rights-based approach.

The Caucus is a unique place where NHRIs from all four regions have an opportunity to discuss, debate, share knowledge and identify and collect experiences, as well as coordinate actions and activities.

Activities of the Caucus reinforce the implementation of the objectives of the GANHRI Strategic Plan 2020 –2022, under which the theme of climate change and human rights was identified as a priority topic. The Caucus has an initial term of two years, until the end of 2022, which coincides with the implementation period of the current GANHRI Strategic plan. 

The Objectives of the Caucus are: 

  1. Support collaboration of NHRIs and building functional and effective networks;
  2. Build professional capacities in implementation of human rights based approach in climate governance; 
  3. Run programs to facilitate technology-based joint learning communities and experience-based knowledge sharing (specifically in climate governance and addressing human rights challenges), at regional and national levels;
  4. Support NHRIs in their advocacy work, enhance policy coherence, on national, regional, and international level;
  5. Enhance global relevance of NHRIs, facilitate and support engagement of NHRIs and GANHRI in UN mechanisms and other global fora;
  6. Build cooperation with UN bodies and other global and international organizations; and
  7. Facilitate climate justice by building networks and strengthening expertise on climate litigation within NHRIs.

The Caucus is actively working in close coordination with the GANHRI Head Office, as well as with similar regional working groups, when they exist, and with fellow UN partners such as UNDP, OHCHR and UNEP.



The escalating evidence of climate change’s profound impact on fundamental human rights, including the right to life, liberty, civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights, underscores the urgency of addressing this global challenge. In the eyes of human rights organizations worldwide, climate change is no longer a debatable concern but a pressing human rights issue that demands immediate attention.

Recognizing this emerging challenge, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) have acknowledged the imperative to enhance their professional capacities, aiming for a more effective protection of human rights in their respective nations. Traditionally, environmental law or data related to climate change’s impact did not form a standard part of NHRIs’ professional portfolio. However, in the face of an evolving world, these have become increasingly pertinent.

In a bid to augment the expertise of NHRIs and bolster their capacity to enforce climate justice within their jurisdictions, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) Caucus on Human Rights and Climate Change has initiated a peer-learning programme. This programme focuses on climate litigation, aiming to expand the skillsets of NHRIs already versed in leveraging existing legal mechanisms.

Strategic litigation tools such as Third Party Interventions play a critical role in this context. These interventions provide a platform for the Court to gain insights from States and entities that aren’t directly involved in a case, offering perspectives and arguments that differ from or supplement those put forth by the parties involved. This approach is widely accepted across most domestic legal
systems, regional courts like the European and Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and UN treaty bodies.
Moreover, the NHRIs’ mandate offers another unique approach: conducting a national inquiry which combines monitoring, data collection, investigation with public hearings and legal analysis. National inquiry might even reach beyond the national framework and respond to the cross-boundary factor of climate change impact.

Through our peer-learning programme, we aspire to foster meaningful dialogue and collaboration among NHRIs, aiding them in discovering innovative ways to advocate for climate justice.


WEBINAR 2 – 23 November 2023: Peer Learning Event of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Preparation for COP28