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OHCHR: Fact Sheet on Human Rights and Climate Change

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has published a Fact Sheet on Human Rights and Climate Change, which sets out in comprehensive terms, the links between climate change and human rights violations.

The Fact Sheet originates with and builds on the work of the Office in relation to its engagement at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is the first time that the Office brought its work on human rights and climate change to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in order to promote rights-based climate action and the integration of human rights in the Paris Agreement. It aims to promote better policies for both people and the planet by improving understanding of the threat climate change poses to human rights and the resulting human rights obligations of States and other duty bearers. It is expected that this fact sheet will support the growing movement for climate justice, empower people to claim their human rights, and serve as a guide for States and businesses seeking to take rights-based climate action.

Climate change has a negative impact on the enjoyment of numerous human rights. As listed in the Fact Sheet, the most affected rights include, but not limited to, the rights to life, self-determination, development, health, food, water and sanitation, adequate housing and a range of cultural rights. The negative impacts of climate change are disproportionately felt by groups and individuals already in a disadvantageous situation, such as women, children, indigenous peoples, migrants and internally displaced persons, and persons with disabilities. In addition to the rights of children, a strong argument in favour of the rights of future generations can also be made on the basis of the human rights principle of equity and a number of multilateral environmental agreements.

The Fact Sheet also explained human rights issues in relation to climate change, such as who the right holders and duty bearers are, related human rights obligations of States, the responsibilities of business, and the role of international cooperation and solidarity in climate action.

The fact sheet is available at the link below.