September 15, 2022 5:32:41 p.m.
September 15, 2022 8:16:58 PM
UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change, Ian Fry, said major greenhouse gas emitting countries have a clear obligation under international law. to provide funds to help highly vulnerable countries like Bangladesh recover from climate impacts. change.
“Bangladesh should not have to bear the burden of climate change alone,” the UN expert said on Thursday, calling for an international fund to help the South Asian country recover from the effects of the weather. extremes.
He visited some of the worst affected areas in Bangladesh and said it was clear to him that the burden of climate change should not be borne by Bangladesh alone, UNB reports.
“For too long, major emitting countries have denied responsibility for the suffering they cause. This must stop,” the UN special rapporteur said.
In a statement at the end of his 10-day visit to Bangladesh to study the impact of climate change on the South Asian nation, Fry said the international community must immediately establish a loss and damage fund to fund recovery. states affected by climate change. .
Fry said women bear a huge burden of the impacts of climate change, walking long distances to fetch fresh water, which exposes them to sexual harassment and prevents them from caring for children and farming. .
According to the Special Rapporteur, women lost livestock, crops and stored seeds during flash floods in Sylhet, northeast Bangladesh, and it would take the community at least two years to fully recover.
During his visit, the UN expert held online meetings with indigenous peoples who expressed serious concerns about their future, as logging of their lands was destroying their traditional livelihoods and making more difficult the search for fresh water, food and medicine.
The logging was a violation of the Bangladesh government’s own program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), the special rapporteur said.
The government refuses to recognize that these communities are indigenous and so their plight is ignored, he said.
“The issue of climate change displacement has troubled me deeply. Millions of people suffering from hardship caused by climate change are migrating to cities to seek other opportunities,” the expert said.
“Inevitably, these people end up in the slums of big cities, where their basic rights are violated,” he said.
The Special Rapporteur said that he had received reports that the situation of children in urban slums was particularly dire.
“They suffer from high rates of malnutrition, school dropout, child marriage, child labor and abuse,” he said.
Fry said he also met with climate change activists who said they were being persecuted by the government for protesting new coal-fired power plants.
“The government appears to be using the Digital Protection Act to suppress the voices of climate activists. This is an overly blatant reaction. People have the right to express their opinions without being labeled as ‘terrorists,'” the statement said. UN expert.
Fry will present a report to the United Nations General Assembly in 2022, focusing on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change mitigation, loss, damage and participation – a issue which he said came to the fore during his visit to Bangladesh.
A full report on his visit to Bangladesh will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2023.