Human rights for a better planet!
11 December 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND –
Human rights for a better planet!
Banned in Paris, Banned in Thailand– On the celebration of 67th anniversary of International Human Rights Day, Chiang Mai-based civil society came together to enact solidarity with global civil society who gathered in Paris, France and elsewhere around the globe to take common ground on human rights and climate justice. Leaders at the international climate conference in Paris are working to forge a common agreement on how to address climate change and its dire consequences. However they have excluded civil society voices and have privileged corporate presence and interests. The privileging of profit has endangered human rights everywhere and directly threatened lives of human rights defenders.
“While leaders are meeting in Paris , more than 50 ENVIRONMENTAL HRDs including WHRDs been killed in Thailand for the last ten years . Thailand should combat impunity for violations committed against HRDs by ensuring that investigations are conducted promptly and impartially, and the perpetrators are held accountable.” Pranom Somwong, APWLD member, Climate Hub for Change
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development is standing in solidarity with the global community to demand a climate treaty that’s in line with the realities of science and principles of justice. APWLD members and partners along with members of the public put out their shoes and formed a human chain as a mark of solidarity with the Global People’s Movement and the need for action on climate change. The act symbolises the call to reclaim democratic spaces for civil actions, peoples’ participation in global decision makings as well as the mere fact that if the climate talks in Paris fails, we will see only our shoes left with certain extinctions of people on the planet.
Women living in the Global South are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They are at increased risk due to their primary role in care work and agricultural production while water and food collection, which is often the responsibility of women, is becoming increasingly arduous. Burden of care often falls on women during times of disaster including caring for children and the elderly during floods and storms. Women in the Global South are least responsible for climate change, yet they pay the highest price.
Current climate policy is not enough to curb the effects of climate change. At the current rate of increasing temperatures 50 million people from Bangladesh alone will be displaced by 2050 due to climate change. After more than 20 years of negotiations since the Rio conference (1992), 195 country delegates are finalising a global climate agreement currently in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21), which will fundamentally affect the global community’s future of survival or perishment.
The event also highlighted the fundamental disconnect between climate and trade policy, which is a carefully crafted product of neoliberalism to normalise deep structural inequalities between countries, between rich and poor and between men and women. Agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership undermine climate policy through entrenching corporate power that foster inequality and environmental degradation. **
Pranom Somwong said “The Thai authorities should suspend the process of trade negotiation and agreement until democratic and representative legislative structures have been elected, and participatory mechanisms for community and civil society input have been installed”
Civil society in the Asia Pacific region is demanding governments take action on climate change. We are calling for a climate treaty that is based on science and the principles of justice. We are demanding to change our current global architecture that relies on increasing unsustainable production, consumption and resource extraction. We are asking for a climate solution that recognise the historical responsibilities of industrialized countries and introduces systematic changes to