The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association will devote his next thematic report to the General Assembly at its 76th session to the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to advance climate justice, and is welcoming inputs from stakeholders.
Climate change is today’s greatest threat to life on earth. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has warned that “the human implications of currently projected levels of global heating are catastrophic” and threaten the enjoyment of all human rights. For decades people around the world have organized in associations, formal and informal, to tackle climate change and support effective and equitable measures that would guard against the dangers of global warming.
This growing global climate justice movement has had remarkable achievements in the last five years. It has transformed the global discourse on climate change; it has led to the adoption of ambitious climate change policies in some countries; and it has raised awareness of the need to increase children, women and indigenous people’s participation into climate change policy making. However, the movement has been met with fierce repression from governments and the private sector. This repression has taken many forms, from protest bans and laws criminalizing legitimate acts of peaceful assembly, to attempts to paint climate defenders as “eco-terrorists,” to online harassment and physical persecution.
It is in this context the Special Rapporteur will devote his next thematic report to the General Assembly at its 76th session to the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to advance climate justice. The Special Rapporteur therefore welcomes inputs to help enrich this upcoming report.