Practical Guidance for NHRIs on Addressing Human Rights and Climate Change 


National human rights institutions (NHRIs) around the world can now access practical tools to strengthen their efforts in protecting and promoting human rights in the context of climate change.


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NHRIs play an important bridging role between the international and national levels: helping translate the provisions of international human rights treaties on the ground and reporting the national human rights situation to the international level for attention and action.  

This makes them essential participants in an all-of-society effort to address the human rights consequences of climate change and climate action. 

In 2020 at the GANHRI Annual Conference, national human rights institutions around the globe recognized the importance of protecting the environment and biodiversity for future generations and committed to striving for climate justice.

To further support its members in this important effort, GANHRI released the Practical Guidance for NHRIs on Addressing Human Rights and Climate Change.

The Practical Guidance provides:

  • information about how international human rights mechanisms have addressed the relationship between climate change and human rights;
  • information about how GANHRI members can engage with human rights and other international mechanisms on climate change;
  • a mechanism for members to share their experiences with climate action. 

The Practical Guidance provides pathways for climate action through its analysis of procedural rights, opportunities for engagement with regional and international mechanisms, various NHRI case studies and resources to deepen knowledge and strengthen NHRI’s work for climate justice.

Descriptions of NHRI engagement on climate change are provided in Annex II of the Practical Guidance, which will be regularly updated as NHRIs engage further on climate action. 

The Practical Guidance is available in English, French and Spanish.

The publication was developed by GANHRI with the support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). This publication has benefited from additional review by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Navigate between the practical guidance chapters and learn more about the international human rights mechanisms put in place to address climate change and how NHRIs are engaging at the international level to tackle the human rights consequences of climate change

1. Introduction

NHRIs, Climate Change and Human Rights

2. United Nations

UN human rights bodies and expert mechanisms

3. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UNFCCC and subsidiary bodies and processes

4. Regional and Other International Organisations

Regional and sub-regional human rights institutions

5. Thematic Issues related to Human Rights and Climate Change

Human-Rights-Based Approaches and Human Rights Defenders

6. GANHRI Engagement on Human Rights and Climate Change

NHRIs and GANHRI Caucus on Human Rights and Climate Change work

Annex I: Additional Resources

Training courses and materials

Annex II: GANHRI Members’ Activities related to Climate Change