NHRI Caucus on Human Rights and Climate Change meet with newly appointed Special Rapporteur to highlight concerns and opportunities for collaboration
Geneva, 22 June 2022- In a landmark consultation, representatives of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) offered support and discussed cooperation with newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.
Organized by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) in close collaboration with the Office of the Special Rapporteur, the event counted with the participation of over 20 (twenty) NHRIs, representing all regions of the World.
“Climate change is a priority topic for GANHRI members and an urgent threat to the full enjoyment of human rights” stated GANHRI’s Secretary Amina Bouayach, reminding the timely opportunity for the meeting.
During the event, Special Rapporteur, Ian Fry, shared priority topics identified for his mandate in his first annual report presented at the 50th Human Rights Council session. Mr. Fry was introduced to the work of the NHRI Caucus on Climate Change and also heard from a diverse array of NHRIs, including Samoa, Norway and Kenya.
Climate litigation and the protection of vulnerable groups were among the concerns and opportunities for collaboration acknowledged throughout the meeting.
“GANHRI is the institution that has people on the ground, I will be joining on your experience and expertise.” Affirmed Ian Fry, while clearly stating that climate change is a human rights issue.
This meeting echoes a sequence of efforts from GANHRI members, across all regions, reaffirming their pledge to engage in climate action processes jointly and proactively. Since 2020 GANHRI’s annual conference on climate change and human rights, GANHRI member institutions committed themselves to applying their unique mandate to work towards an informed and human rights-based approach to climate action and justice.
The meeting ended on a high note with the special rapporteur recognizing similarity of priorities and an opportunity for “a strong collaboration” with NHRIs.
GANHRI Geneva Representative, Katharina Rose, stressed that NHRIs are central to translate the Special Rapporteur’s guidance on the ground and promote implementation. She reminded participants that this meeting is only the beginning of an important collaboration to come.
This meeting also follows up on the second Caucus meeting held on 7 of June where members adopted the Work plan 2022 which sets objectives and activities for the Caucus.