National Human Rights Institutions on the front lines of the UN Call to Action on Human Rights – Climate Action and the Right to a Healthy Environment
06 October, 08:00 – 09:15 AM (EDT) – Online Event
We are pleased to invite you to the online event on “National Human Rights Institutions on the front lines of the UN Call to Action on Human Rights – Climate Action and the Right to a Healthy Environment” facilitated by UNDP and jointly convened with GANHRI, OHCHR and UNEP.
This event is the public session of the TriPartite Partnership to Support National Human Rights Institutions Annual Review and Partnership Platform 2021 Meeting (TPP2021).
The event will bring together the UN system, Member States, NHRIs, and other stakeholders to:
- Improve awareness of national human rights institutions as key agents and accelerators to support the rights of future generations in the Secretary-Generals’ Call to Action on Human Rights
- Explore opportunities to facilitate and support the work of national human rights institutions to monitor the human rights impacts of climate change
- Share information on how the human rights mechanisms can provide guidance on climate change
Following opening remarks, there will be short presentations by the panellists and a moderated question and answer session. Here will be an opportunity for participants to raise questions with the speakers through the Q&A chat function on Zoom.
Interpretation in Spanish, French and Russian will be provided. Registration for the event is required in advance. Upon registering, you will receive the zoom link to attend the webinar.
The impacts of climate change and increasing inequality across and within countries are undermining progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, threatening to reverse many of the gains made over the last decades that have improved people’s lives. This directly and indirectly impacts the full enjoyment of human rights, including social, economic and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights.
The Secretary-General in his Call to Action on Human Rights outlines that “the climate emergency threatens the rights and dignity not only of millions of people worldwide but also of people not yet born” and highlights the rights of future generations and specifically climate justice as a key area of support from the UN system.
The right to a healthy environment is already recognized by over 150 member states. Member states are now discussing the adoption of a resolution on the universal right to a healthy environment at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council, and more human rights mechanisms are addressing the human rights implications of climate change (for example, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Universal Periodic Review process).
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are on the front lines of monitoring and supporting rights-based responses to climate change at country level with innovative work ongoing to protect the right to a healthy environment and play their bridging role to support affected populations. This includes: monitoring and reporting on the human rights impacts of climate change, advising the State and others on human rights-based approaches to climate action; supporting communities to participate in decision-making on climate strategies; assisting victims to seek justice and redress; provide education on the human rights impacts of climate change and policies and engage businesses and others on their roles and responsibilities.
Key Reference Documents:
- Climate Change: The Role of National Human Rights Institutions; 2020 GANHRI Annual Conference Statement
- Joint statement of United Nations entities on the right to a healthy environment
- GANHRI Statement on climate change at HRC46
- Secretary- General’s Call to Action for Human Rights
- Safe Climate: A Report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment
- The Right to a Healthy Environment and the Role of National Human Rights Institutions; Report from UNEP webinar series (November 2019)
- Human Rights Council resolutions and studies on climate change on older persons (A/HRC/RES/44/7; 2020); persons with disabilities (A/HRC/44/30; 2020); children (A/HRC/43/30; 2020; A/HRC/35/13; 2017); women (A/HRC/42/26; 2019); migrants (A/HRC/37/35; 2018); and physical and mental health (A/HRC/32/23; 2016).