What are the stakes of COP21 for human rights?


COP21 will take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December. The 147 heads of state and of government have the future of our planet in their hands. They must come up with a binding agreement that limits global warming and its dramatic impacts on human rights. FIDH reiterates loudly : while the stakes are indeed environmental they are first and foremost human.

Indeed, natural catastrophes, conflicts linked to the race for natural resources, but also the depletion of vital resources have consequences, whether direct or indirect on the right to health, right to water, right to food, right to housing and on the right to life. All too often, it is those most vulnerable who are the most affected : people living in precarity or extreme poverty, women, youth, elders, indigenous peoples, minorities. The paradox is alarming : those who contribute the least to global warming are those who suffer and will continue to suffer the most from it.

Read FIDH position paper: Global warming, a challenge for human rights

FIDH also denounces the fate reserved to the thousands of land rights defenders who, on every continent, fight against the vandalizing of their lands, against forced evictions, against water and soil pollution. This fight is often let against companies ready to violate the law as well as corrupted States. The risks they face are high : threats, arrests, aggressions, judicial harassment, assassination. And 95% of violations committed against them go unpunished. This number is extremely worrisome!

COP 21 must also be the place to recognize the work carried out by these men and women and to think about the best way to ensure their safety. Because to protect them is to protect the planet.

The fight of land rights’ activists explained in images and figures

Interview with Yorm Bopha, land rights activist (Cambodia)

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