An Open Letter by Global Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples for the Establishment of a new UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change

To the States Members and Observers of the United Nations Human Rights Council


As the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is taking place from 21 June to 15 July, 2021, the undersigned civil society and Indigenous Peoples organizations call on the UN member States through the HRC to establish at this session a new UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change.

Climate change is an existential threat for humanity, jeopardizing the realization of all human rights for present and future generations. As the impacts of the climate crisis worsen and aggravate intersecting forms of discrimination against various peoples, individuals and groups in our societies, action can no longer be postponed at the HRC and urgent measures to protect people and the planet must be adopted. The issue of climate change cannot only be left any more to interesting interactive dialogues or to the existing different Special Procedures to address it when they can, even if their various contributions have been remarkable.

The creation of such a dedicated Special Rapporteur mandate focusing on the challenges of climate change is a longstanding request by a growing number of civil society organizations and of Indigenous Peoples, given that a dedicated mandate would enable the HRC to elevate its work on climate change in a systematic and sustainable way, protect people from runaway climate change and its unavoidable impacts, and promote respect for human rights in climate responses. Simply put, climate change must be a higher priority at the HRC.

In 2019, the Marshall Islands, on behalf of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), called for the creation of a dedicated HRC Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change at the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the past two years, this proposal has gained momentum amongst States. During the 46th session of the HRC in March 2021, in an unprecedented move, a cross-regional group of 56 States joined Bangladesh in a statement that called upon Council members to consider creating this new mandate.

It is now time to act on these statements. We, the undersigned, thus reiterate our call urging States to establish a new Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change at the 47th session of the Human Rights Council.


Co-signatories (as of 21 June 2021)


International organizations

  1. Amnesty International
  2. Anglican Consultative Council
  3. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  4. Associazione Comunita Papa Giiovanni XXIII
  5. Carmelite ngo
  6. Casa Generalizia della Societa del Sacro Cuore
  7. Center for Climate Change and Sustainable development
  8. Center for Global Nonkilling
  9. Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research
  10. Centre for the Sustainable use of Natural and Social Resources
  11. Centro de Estudios HEÑÓI
  12. Center for International Environmental Law
  13. Climate Refugees
  14. Comboni Missionaries
  15. Committee on the Administration of Justice
  16. Company of Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
  17. Confédération Internationale de la Société de Saint Vincent de Paul
  18. Congregación de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Buen Pastor
  19. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  20. Congregations of St. Joseph
  21. Dominican Leadership Conference
  22. Dominicans for Justice and Peace
  23. Earthjustice
  24. EarthRights International
  25. Edmund Rice International
  26. Emonyo Yefwe International
  27. Environmental Justice Foundation
  28. FIDH, International Federation for Human Rights
  29. Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-onlus
  30. Foundation for GAIA
  31. Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth
  32. Franciscans International
  33. Gatef organizations
  34. Geneva for Human Rights
  35. Global Legal Action Network
  36. Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office
  37. Heartland Initiative, Inc.
  38. Human Rights Movement
  39. Human Rights Watch
  40. Humanium
  41. Indigenous Environmental Network
  42. Indigenous Peoples Rights International
  43. Initiatives des Femmes en Situations Difficiles pour le Développement Durable et Intégré
  44. International Alliance of Women
  45. International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism
  46. International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations
  1. International-Lawyers.Org
  2. Justiça Global
  3. Lucis Trust/Bonne Volonté Mondiale
  4. Make Mothers Matter
  5. Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
  6. Maryknoll Lay Missioners
  7. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  8. Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.
  9. Mennonite Central Committee United Nations Office
  10. Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
  11. New Humanity
  12. Norwegian Refugee Council
  13. PeaceX
  14. Rainforest Action Network
  15. Religious of the Good Shepherd
  16. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary NGO
  17. Resurj
  18. Save the Children
  19. Servas Internationales
  20. Sisters of Charity Federation
  21. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
  22. Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.
  23. Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
  24. Sisters of the good shepherd
  25. Society of the Sacred Heart
  26. Soka Gakkai International
  27. Temple of Understanding
  28. Third Order Society of St Francis
  29. UNANIMA International
  30. Veterans For Peace
  31. VIVAT International
  32. WECF International
  33. Women and Modern World Social Charitable Center
  34. Women Engage for a Common Future - WECF
  35. Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
  36. World Against Racism Network
  37. World Yoga Community
  38. World's Youth for Climate Justice
  39. YOUNGO


Regional, national and local organizations

  1. Japan
  2. Abibinsroma Foundation Ghana
  3. Accion Ecologica
  4. Action Communautaire por la promotion des Défavorisés BATWA
  5. Action de Carême Suisse
  6. ActionAid Australia
  7. African Network on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development
  8. Akina Mama wa Afrika
  9. Albanian Human Rights Group (AHRG)
  10. Albanian Society for All Ages
  1. Alliance for Future Generations Fiji
  2. ALTSEAN-Burma
  3. American Association of Jurists
  4. Amis de l'Afrique Francophone Bénin
  5. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies
  6. Amnesty International USA
  7. Apoyo la iniciativa
  8. AquaHub Nicaragua
  9. Arab Society for Academic Freedom
  10. Armanshahr|OPEN ASIA
  11. Asociación de Líderes Comunitarios Red Angel Shingre
  12. Asociación de pescadores artesanales del golfo de Fonseca Apagolf
  13. AIDA (Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente)
  14. Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España
  15. Association pur le Développement de l'Entomoforesterie et La Sauvegarde de l'Environnement
  16. Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
  17. Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
  18. Better World Cameroon
  19. Cadire Cameroon Association
  20. CALDH Guatemala
  21. Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  22. Carbone Guinée
  23. Care Society and Environment (CASE)
  24. Caritas Zambia
  25. Center ANNA
  26. Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos "Segundo Montes Mozo S.J." (CSMM)
  27. Centro de Politicas Publicas y Derechos Humanos - Peru (EQUIDAD)
  28. Centro Ecosocial Latinoamericano
  29. China Labour Bulletin
  30. CIRECK (Cercle International de Recherches et d’Etudes des Civilisations beKwel)
  31. Climate Action Network Latin America (CANLA).
  32. Climate Frontlines, Friends of the Earth Australia
  33. Colectivo de Abogados "José Alvear Restrepo"
  34. Collectif Sénégalais des Africaines pour la Promotion de l'Education Relative à l'Environnement (COSAPERE)
  35. Comision Batuco Comuna
  36. Comité de Acción Jurídica Argentina
  37. Commission des droits de l'homme du Cameroun
  38. Congregação nossa senhora da caridade do Bom Pastor
  39. Congregación de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Buen Pastor América Latina
  40. CooperAcción
  41. Coordinación de ONG y Cooperativas CONGCOOP (Guatemala)
  42. Coordinadora de Derechos Humanos del Paraguay
  43. Corporación La Caleta
  44. CSVVDH (Comité de Solidarité avec les Victimes des Violations des Droits Humains en Mauritanie)
  45. Dibeen for Environmental Development
  46. DITSHWANELO The Botswana Centre for Human Rights
  47. Diverse Voices and Action for Equality
  48. DKA Austria
  2. Election Network in the Arab World
  3. Energy Mix Productions
  4. Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas de las Américas
  5. Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia
  6. FIAN Belgium
  7. FIAN Internacional Sección Honduras
  8. FIAN International Zambia
  9. FIAN Nepal
  10. FIAN Sweden
  11. FIAN Uganda
  12. Fondation Eboko
  13. Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux
  14. Franciscan Missionaries of Mary - Texas
  15. Friends of the Earth Canada
  16. Fundação Montescola
  17. Fundación Ciudadanía Inteligente
  18. Fundación Haciendo Ecuador
  19. Fundacion para Estudio e investigacion de la Mujer
  20. Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos, INREDH
  21. Good Shepherd Sri Lanka
  22. Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa
  23. Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
  24. Human Rights Association (İnsan Hakları Derneği)
  25. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
  26. Iniciativa Amotocodie
  27. Instituto Alana Brasil
  28. J&P Central South ProvinceSisters of the Good Shepherd
  29. Kora im An Kil
  30. Latin American Observatory on Human Mobility, Climate Change and Disasters (MOVE- LAM)
  31. Lawyers for Climate Action New Zealand
  32. Lead Tchad
  33. League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran
  34. Linking Skills
  35. Lok Shakti Abhiyan
  36. Manusher Jonno Foundation
  37. Manushya Foundation
  38. Mom Loves Taiwan Association
  39. Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’homme
  40. Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos Brasil
  41. Movimiento independiente indígena lenca de la paz Honduras MILPAH.(SOCIAL)
  42. Murna Foundation
  43. Mwatana for Human Rights
  44. NAPM (National Alliance of People’s Movements)
  45. National Fisheries Solidarity
  46. National Indigenous Women Forum Nepal
  47. National Youth Council the Netherlands
  48. Nayacalevu's Vision Consultancy
  49. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN)
  50. Oceania Human Rights
  1. Organisation Guinéenne de Défense des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen OGDH
  2. Österreichische Liga für Menschenrechte
  3. PA Women's organization Alga
  4. Pacific Centre for Environement and Sustainable Development
  5. Pacific Human Rights Initiative
  6. Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change
  7. Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)
  8. Plantemos Nativo ONG

202. Pro 2000

  1. Project Survival Pacific
  2. Promo-LEX
  3. Red ambiental de Ñuñoa
  5. RESAMA South American Network for Environmental Migrations
  7. Servicios Ecumenicos para Reconciliacion y Reconstruccion
  8. Shifting the Power Coalition Pacific
  9. Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria (SOCSEEN)/Afrihealth Optonet Association
  10. Society for the Improvement of Rural People
  11. Solidarité des Femmes burundaises pour le Bien-être Social et le Progrès au Burundi
  12. Soroptimist International of Europe
  13. Sotelo & Asociados
  14. Success Capital Organisation
  15. Swedwatch
  16. Terre des Jeunes, Burundi
  17. The Palestinian Human Rights Organization
  18. Tree Uganda Academy
  19. UAOD Cameroun
  20. United Nations Association - Iowa Division
  21. Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
  22. Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi
  23. Women and Media Collective
  24. Women for peace and ecology-Germany
  25. Women Solidarity and Development
  26. Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
  27. Women In Media-Newark


Academic Institution

  1. Columbus University
  2. Environmental Law Institute
  3. Environmental Law Institute
  4. Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights
  5. McGill University
  6. Trakya University
  7. Universidad de Valparaíso
  8. Universidad Internacional de La Rioja
  9. University for Peace
  10. University of Makeni



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