In historic hearing process with the participation of REDESCA, I/A Court an Advisory Opinion will issue an advisory opinion on state obligations on climate emergency

June 5, 2024

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Resolution 3/21

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Washington D.C. - As part of the commemoration of World Environment Day, the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (REDESCA) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) highlights the value of the extensive process of hearings carried out by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

During seven days, the hearings of the Advisory Opinion on "Climate Emergency and Human Rights" were held in Bridgetown, Barbados (April 22-25), Brasilia (May 24) and Manaus (May 25-29), in Brazil. A total of 265 written submissions and more than 150 oral interventions were received from States, international and national organizations, academia, civil society, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendant, tribal and rural communities, children and adolescents, among others.

On the first day of hearings in Bridgetown, Barbados, IACHR Chair Roberta Clarke and Vice-Chair Carlos Bernal Pulido, along with Special Rapporteur Javier Palummo, presented their oral observations to the Court. They emphasized the importance of an Advisory Opinion that deepens the standards developed by the IACHR and REDESCA in Resolution 3/21 on the climate emergency and inter-American human rights obligations.

Special Rapporteur Javier Palummo pointed out that "those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis are today facing the worst consequences, so climate justice is an unavoidable imperative but also a prerequisite for climate action centered on a human rights approach, and it is now up to the Court to express its opinion in this regard".

REDESCA also participated in the hearings in Brasilia and Manaus, listening to oral presentations, and meeting with authorities from the Ministry of Social Development, Health, Human Rights and Citizenship, the Public Ministry of Labor, the Public Defense of the Union and the National Human Rights Council. In addition, he met with representatives of civil society and indigenous peoples to discuss the situation of DESCA at the national and regional level in the context of the climate emergency.

During the hearings in Barbados and Brazil, the Rapporteurship organized parallel events and meetings with academia and civil society organizations, with a promotional focus in Barbados and promotional and working focus in Brazil. The Rapporteurship is grateful for the collaboration of both States, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Brazilian Mission to the OAS, as well as all the civil society organizations that contributed and participated.

These activities are aligned with REDESCA's Work Plan 2024-2026 "A Hemispheric Agenda for ESC rights" and contribute to the process of preparing the Advisory Opinion requested by Chile and Colombia, which seeks to clarify individual and collective state obligations in the face of the climate emergency within the framework of international human rights law.

REDESCA urges the States of the region to adopt a human rights-based response, which should be supported by the best scientific evidence and adopt a gender, intercultural and intersectional approach. This should include a differentiated approach for geographic regions. The Office of the Special Rapporteur has established that the actions of States and companies must be based on climate justice. This implies addressing the effects of climate change by applying international environmental and human rights principles, obligations, standards and conventions. Effective implementation protects the most vulnerable groups and requires States with greater resources to eliminate historical injustices and discrimination.

The Office of the Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights is an office created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to strengthen the promotion and protection of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights in the Americas, leading the Commission's efforts in this area.

No. RD125/24

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