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IBA urges reform to climate change justice structures to protect human rights

[JURIST] The International Bar Association (IBA) [advocacy website] Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights reported on Monday that the human rights of the most vulnerable people affected by climate change are threatened. The report [press release], available for download on the IBA website, urges improved access to justice and legal frameworks and assesses the challenges currently faced by national and international legal regimes. Highlighting that climate change disproportionately affects those who have contributed to it least and lack the necessary resources to respond, the report includes several recommendations for reform to help protect environmental and human rights. Key recommendations include: using the UN Periodic Review process to highlight these concerns for developing countries to an international audience; greening bilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements to include state and investor obligations to comply with environmental laws and climate change commitments; increase corporate responsibility to implement policies of greater environmental awareness, reporting and disclosure; and creating a new international dispute resolution structure for climate change issues including a new specialist International Court on the Environment.

Climate change [JURIST news archive] is a pressing issue worldwide. While all societies are affected by the impacts of climate change, impoverished communities particularly suffer the consequences as they lack sufficient financial, legal and technical resources to manage effects. Last week Rights and Resources published [JURIST report] a report [text, PDF] urging that the recognition of land rights for indigenous people will simultaneously aid in global climate, environmental and sustainable development goals while securing basic human rights of the people whose livelihoods rely on local natural resources.

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