> Statement: Polish Government Clamps Down on the Right To Protest at COP24

Statement: Polish Government Clamps Down on the Right To Protest at COP24

9 March 2018

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Peoples’ organisations and movements from the Global South along with our allies are deeply concerned about the passage of the ‘On specific solutions related to the organization of the session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the Republic of Poland’ Bill in the Polish parliament,  which will prevent any ‘spontaneous’ public gathering of climate groups during COP24. The Bill is specifically drafted to target any organising and mobilisation of environmental defenders and people’s movements against detrimental climate policies. It also gives power to the Polish government to subject human rights defenders to state-led surveillance including access to all personal information.

The Bill initiated by the government of Poland is setting a dangerous precedent that undermines the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly including the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and of speech, and the right to privacy in the context of digital technologies,  multilateral process, and the role and importance of peoples’ organisations in fighting climate change. This Bill infringes upon the rights protected under regional and international human rights conventions to which Poland is a member state, especially Articles 11 (right to freedom of assembly and association) and 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights; Article 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (freedom of assembly and of association); Article 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; as well as its own Constitutional Law. A step like this gives a legal license with impunity to states and non-state actors to intimidate and undermine the work of environmental, human rights defenders. The year 2017 was the deadliest year for environmental human rights defenders, where at least 197 human rights defenders were killed for protecting their land and resources. If patriarchal, authoritarian governments make this trend a norm, then 2018 could be an even worse year for human rights defenders and their communities.

Clearly, environmental defenders, especially indigenous, urban poor and rural women human rights defenders from every region of the world who plan to participate in COP24 this year in Poland will face great risks, barriers and restrictions in raising their concerns and protesting against policies that accelerate climate change. We are concerned that the climate negotiations will be a farce if they are conducted in this atmosphere of fear, threat and intimidation.

We demand the following actions from respective entities:

  • United Nations, Fiji Presidency of 2017, Talanoa Dialogue and Constituencies take action to redress this, failing which our organizations and movements will resort to non-cooperation towards COP24.
  • Polish government repeal this harmful Act and ensure the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and speech of all person prior to, during and post COP 24.
  • European Union and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  urge the government of Poland to uphold their legal, human rights obligations by repealing the Act, as a signatory to key regional and international human rights instruments.

The deadline to sign the statement has been closed.

For further information please contact:

neha@apwld.org

shradha@apwld.org

hanna.gunnarsson@wecf.org

lean@wedo.org

References:

  1. Polish police set to restrict protest and gather personal data at UN climate talks
  2. Polish Crackdown Ahead of Climate Talks
  3. Poland: New law threatens public participation of UN Climate Conference 2018
  4. Eroding Checks and Balances: Rule of Law and Human Rights Under Attack in Poland
  5. Tekst ustawy przyjęty przez Senat bez poprawek

List of signatories:

Organisations:

  1. 350.org Argentina
  2. 350.org Brasil
  3. 350.org Paraguay
  4. African Women’s Network for Community management of Forests (REFACOF)
  5. Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice, Indonesia
  6. All India Women’s Conference (AIWC)
  7. All India Women’s Education Fund Association (AIWEFA)
  8. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
  9. Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
  10. Asociación Civil Centro de Cultura Popular Labor,  Cerro de Pasco, Perú
  11. Association Adéquations, France
  12. Association Nigérienne des Scouts de l’Environnement (ANSEN)
  13. Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament
  14. Barnabas Charity Outreach
  15. Biofuelwatch, UK/US
  16. Brighter Green, Kenya
  17. Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)
  18. Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society (COECODECON), India
  19. Center for Human Rights and Climate Change Research
  20. Climate Watch, Thailand
  21. COESUS Brasil
  22. COESUS Latinoamericana contra el Fracking
  23. Colectivo Salvaginas, Bolivia
  24. Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC), Philippines
  25. Danish Family Planning Association
  26. Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality, Fiji
  27. Earth Forever, Bulgaria
  28. Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia, México
  29. ETC Group
  30. The Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO)
  31. Feminism in India
  32. Feminist League, Kazakhstan
  33. Feministiskt perspektiv
  34. Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM)
  35. Focus on the Global South
  36. Foundation for Grassroots Initiatives in Africa (GrassRootsAfrica) Ghana
  37. Free the Marginalized Women Advocates (FREMWA), Ghana
  38. FREMWA
  39. Fundación Arayara
  40. Fundación Guatemala
  41. Fundacion para estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer (FEIM)
  42. GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice, Germany
  43. GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice, South Africa
  44. Grupo Carta de Belém, Brazil
  45. Grupo Para o Desenvolvimento da Mulher e Rapariga
  46. IBON International
  47. Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), India
  48. Italian Climate Network
  49. Jago Nari Unnayon Sangsta, Bangladesh
  50. Koalisi Rakyat untuk Hak atas Air (KRuHA), Indonesia
  51. Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)
  52. MADRE
  53. Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climatico, Perú
  54. NEthing
  55. Organizacin nacional de mujeres indigenas andinas y amazonicas del peru-ONAMIAP
  56. Pacific Conference of Churches
  57. Pacific Islands Climate Action Network
  58. Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD)
  59. Pacific Urgent Action Hub for Climate Justice
  60. Project Survival Pacific Western Hub, Fiji
  61. Public Advocacy Initiatives for Rights and Values (PAIRVI), India
  62. Rainbow Pride Foundation Fiji
  63. Reacción Climática, Bolivia
  64. RITES Forum, Odisha, India
  65. Salvaginas, Bolivia
  66. Servicios Ecumenicos para Reconciliacion y Reconstruccion
  67. Soroptimist International
  68. TierrActiva, Colombia
  69. WeGovern Institute, Inc. Philippines
  70. We Rise Coalition (DIVA for Equality, FWRM, femLINKPACIFIC, IWDA)
  71. Women Center, Sri Lanka
  72. Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF)
  73. Women for Safe Energy
  74. Women for Water Partnership
  75. Women for Women’s Humans Rights – New Ways, Turkey
  76. Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
  77. Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
  78. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Germany
  79. Women’s UN Report Network – WUNRN
  80. World Animal Net
  81. YouthNet for Climate Justice

Individuals

  1. Annemarie Mohr
  2. Anupriya Ghosh
  3. Audrey Ledanois
  4. Daniel Santi
  5. Elizabeth Cox
  6. Emil Samuel
  7. Ender Rence
  8. Fenton Lutunatabua
  9. Frances Namoumou
  10. Hali D Hammer
  11. Isadora Cardoso
  12. Joanna Krawczyk, Poland
  13. John Baaki
  14. Kalis Vaeceece, Fiji
  15. Kelvin Anthony
  16. Kimbowa Richard
  17. Kiyomi Nagumo, Bolivia
  18. Kris Prasad
  19. Jenny Rönngren
  20. Joey Joleen Mataele
  21. Maryann Lockington
  22. Michelle Reddy
  23. Nele Marien
  24. Noelene Nabulivou, Fiji
  25. Oliver Hasenkamp
  26. Prince Nkezimana
  27. Priscilla Samson (VCAN), Vanuatu
  28. Quisia Gonzalez
  29. R C Ramshaw
  30. Reed Kurtz
  31. Sepesa Rasili
  32. Sharin Vile
  33. Tara Chetty
  34. Veera Vehkasalo
  35. Véronique Moreira
2018-11-21T17:41:18+00:00March 9th, 2018|Campaigns, Climate Justice, Press Statements|