Side event to the 51st Session of the Human Rights Council 

Climate Change and Human Rights: the role of National Human Rights Institutions 

16 September, 15:00-16:00 CET

Hybrid event (In person in Palais des Nations in Room XXV, Geneva  I  Online on Webex)

Register here


Event hosted by GANHRI with the co-sponsorship of Australia’s Permanent Mission, the Government of Timor Leste, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Environmental Programme and the United Nations Development Programme


GANHRI and its members are united by a common vision: a world where everyone everywhere fully enjoys their human rights. This includes in connection with efforts to address the relationship between climate change and human rights at the national level and in multilateral fora.  

At its 2020 Annual Conference on Human Rights and Climate Change, GANHRI adopted its policy statement Climate Change: The Role of National Human Right Institutions, in which GANHRI members committed ”to playing an active role in promoting human rights-based climate action generally and to numerous specific actions across the range of their mandated activities. The statement reflects the identification of climate change and human rights as a high priority theme for GANHRI in its strategic plan for 2020-2022. More recently, GANHRI has created a Caucus on Climate Change and Human Rights, which brings together 33 NHRIs from all regions committed to working together on human rights and climate change. 

For many years, several GANHRI member national human rights institutions have addressed climate change in their regular work. This includes advising states on human rights centred climate action; investigating, monitoring and reporting the impact of climate change on human rights; engaging all stakeholders and groups in focus; and promoting climate justice.  

This side-event will be an opportunity to showcase experiences of national human rights institutions from all regions in addressing the human rights impact of climate change, by applying their unique mandate and functions under the United Nations Paris Principles. The side event will also be an opportunity to report on the activities of GANHRI’s Caucus on Climate Change on Human Rights, in coordinating NHRIs globally, building capacities and promoting the exchange of experiences and debates. The event will also hear from UN partners about their support to GANHRI’s and NHRIs’ worldwide climate change activities.   

The side-event will take the format of panel discussion with in-person and virtual participation. The event is open to all interested participants including Permanent Missions in Geneva and New York, GANHRI members, NHRI regional networks NGO representatives, as well as UN partners. A recording of the event would make it available to a larger audience after the event. The event will be interpreted in Arabic and English.