Civil society organizations from across the Americas appear before the IACHR and present on how the climate crisis is affecting human rights
Following the request of fifteen civil society organizations from across the Americas, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held on 25 September, during its 173rd period of sessions, an unprecedented public hearing on the impacts of climate change on the human rights of groups in situations of vulnerability, including indigenous peoples, women, children, and rural communities.
Juan Auz, PhD researcher at the Centre for Fundamental Rights, led the coordination efforts of fifteen civil society organizations to appear before the IACHR and present relevant information on how the climate crisis is affecting human rights. The organizations argued that structural inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean can exacerbate the impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups that have contributed the least to the climate crisis. Such impacts occur during the emission of greenhouse gases, when extreme climate events unfold, and even in response measures taken to mitigate the crisis.
Both the organizations and the commissioners highlighted the importance of respect for human rights by corporate actors, particularly international corporations, considering their important role in the climate crisis. In this connection, the organizations stressed the importance of developing inter-American standards for business and human rights that, among others, will guarantee access to environmental information and public participation. In his intervention, Juan Auz pointed out the ever-increasing role human rights institutions around the world are taking on addressing the climate crisis, and flagged the opportunity for the IACHR to become a regional leader in that matter.
To conclude the hearing the commissioners recognized the urgent need to fight against the climate crisis while expressing their willingness to do so along with civil society, by engaging more deeply and incorporating climate change considerations into different aspects of their work, including publishing thematic reports and setting new standards.
Watch the Spanish-speaking hearing at the IACHR in Washington DC.