UN treaty bodies issue joint statement on human rights and climate change

Date: 7th October 2019


Five UN committees have issued a joint statement, urging countries consider their human rights obligations when reviewing their climate commitments.

The committees underline that climate change poses significant risks to the human rights protected within a number of international legal instruments, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The committees recognise that children are at heightened risk of harm to their health as a result of climate change. However, they emphasise that children should not be seen only as victims or in terms of vulnerability -they should be recognised as agents of change and essential partners in the local, national and international efforts to tackle climate change.

The committees welcome the Climate Action Summit held in September 2019, as well as the work of the international scientific community to further understand the implications of climate change and the solutions for tackling it. Nevertheless, the committees highlight the need for further engagement by governments  and strengthened international cooperation.

The committees reiterate their dedication to reviewing the impacts of climate change on the rights holders protected under their respective treaties and providing relevant guidance to countries for meeting their obligations under the treaties.

The statement has been published jointly by:

  • Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
  • Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families
  • Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Read the full statement.