Commission leads human rights bodies in call for global climate justice response

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has today led the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights in adopting a formal Declaration on Climate Justice, calling for a global response to dealing with the consequences of climate change on human rights.

Coming ahead of the December climate change summit in Paris, The St Julian’s Declaration represents the view of the Commonwealth National Human Rights Institutions that “climate change is a global threat to human rights that requires global cooperation to solve.”

The Declaration, which is the result of a working group on climate change chaired by the Commission, calls upon Commonwealth Heads of Government to “prioritise human rights in their discussion, and recognise the links between human rights and migration, climate change, sustainable development, peace and security.” This is of particular significance as 45 of the 100 countries classified globally as most vulnerable to climate change are within the Commonwealth.

Climate change can impact on human rights directly with increasing concern over water supply and food security, extreme weather events, rising sea levels and emergency planning. The Declaration acknowledges that while the impacts of climate change will be global, the effects will be most severe for people who are already vulnerable because of geography, poverty, gender, age, indigenous or minority status.

Read the Declaration in Word format.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) is intended to be an informal and inclusive body of Commonwealth NHRIs and other national accountability mechanisms having a human rights mandate to support the broad objectives of promoting networking, sharing of information, experiences and best practices, encouraging countries to establish Paris Principles -compliant NHRIs, and assisting national institutions to fulfil their mandated activities. They held their 2015 Biennial Meeting at St Julian, Malta from 23 to 25 November 2015.