By September’s press release, we need to draw your attention to the human rights violations that:
1. The Women in El Salvador are enduring due to the anti-abortion laws; these laws are equivalent to torture, since this absolute ban on abortion is killing women and girls. For example, in many cases even young girls that are victims of rape cannot terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
2. The grievous human rights violations that Refugees are subjected too, especially during their attempts to enter Europe through the Mediterranean and the numerous losses of lives in those journeys. According to IOM’s research study , 8 migrants are dying every day in their way to richer countries and their pursuit for a better and happier life. The European authorities cannot continue blaming the southern countries for lack of security, and border control. Europe must act in order to prevent these unfair deaths.
3. We have to express our solidarity to the current struggles of the citizens of Hong Kong. The pro-democracy movement in China, and the big waves of citizens demonstrating in the streets of Hong Kong, is another manifestation of the rights to freedom of expression and the rights to act politically.
Here in Citizens Rights Watch we will lend our voices and our resources to any rightful call for human rights protection.
4. However, the highlight of September, was the mass protests on Climate Change all around the world, due to the UN Summit. So, September’s press release is mostly dedicated to the human rights implications related to Climate Change. The great numbers of citizens taking the streets send a strong message to the decision makers. Yet, acting politically in the citizen level, it is not just a right, but also a duty.
Citizens Rights Watch, wants to extent the call for further collective action on Climate Change and human rights protection.
Human rights by essence and definition place limits and barriers to what governments and powerful corporations can do. This is what human rights can bring to the Climate Justice arena and thus contribute to tackling Climate Change. Things should be called by their name, and the fact is that, today we are witnessing the ultimate violation of the human rights of the most vulnerable people.
Lets see the facts: Climate Change is undermining the fulfillment of a number of internationally protected human rights, like the rights to health and life; rights to food, water, shelter and property; rights associated with livelihood and culture; with migration and resettlement; and with personal security in the event of conflict. The worst effects of Climate Change are to be felt by those individuals and groups whose rights protection is already insufficient. But this effect is also causal and mutually reinforcing. In Citizens Rights Watch we intent to highlight these risks and advocate for their consideration, while calling for immediate action to be taken in order to reverse the anemic state of political will and lack of commitment.
It has been scientifically proven by now, that the terrain of Climate Change has an inherent crucial urgency; that Climate Change and human rights claims are strongly connected; that equity for future generations is a defining legal principle; as well as the necessity to acknowledge clearly, firmly and decisively that the ultimate human rights violation of humankind’s known history will be the only thing “flourishing” due to Climate Change.
So we know that acting or failure to act will result into harm to human beings; however we are in Freudian terms: in denial as to whether our household will feel the impacts. We need to wake up and realize that our household is our neighborhood, our city, & our planet.
The inclusion of human rights in the workings of environmental law is inevitable and necessary. However, we do not have the luxury of time, and this merging should be a matter in the agenda of the December 2014 UN conference in Lima and become a reality by 2015 in Paris. Citizens Rights Watch is asking from the leaders of the world to assume the responsibility entrusted on their hands, and ensure that Climate Change is dealt with from a human rights sensitive perspective.
We need now more than ever, an International Environmental Court.
The future of Climate Justice depends on the inclusion of human rights within its workings. We all need to acknowledge the duty imposed upon all of us, for assisting the Climate Justice field of study and the Climate Change actions, and hopefully to witness a reversal of the unjustifiably inactive, or better put, weak current state of the international institutional negotiations, and likewise, to fuel actions and not just further dialogues on these matters. Turning a blind eye on the effects of Climate Change in spreading unfairness, human rights violations and crimes against humanity, is not an option. The time for putting the plans into action is now.
This is a call for global justice to fulfill her promise. The time is now for humanity to work together in tackling the catastrophic consequences that human-made Climate Change brings. This is not an action science fiction film, it is real life, our earth is threatened by our own mismanagement, disrespect, and exploitation of natural resources.
We need to realize that the responsibility for the planet, is also a burden on our shoulders, meaning that we share responsibility with the leaders that are being called to act on humankind’s name. The peoples have the power to oblige the leaders into taking real action. We will not be silenced until we see real action in Paris next year, and legally binding agreements replacing the abstract political promises to protect our planet and our species.
Dr. Zoi Aliozi
Citizens Rights Watch