Human Rights Perspective on Climate Change

June 8, 2021

Perhaps not many people realize that there has been an increasingly drastic climate change in Asia Pacific in the recent years.

For example, Thailand, which experienced its worst drought in more than a decade back in 2016.

China, which was hit by a great heat wave in 2017, beating the hottest day record in Shanghai.

Vietnam, which experienced more severe typhoons and floods in the year 2018.

As well as Hong Kong which recorded the warmest winter in 135 years in the year 2019.

Not to mention what happened recently in South Korea. The country of Ginseng experienced rain for 42 consecutive days, resulting in floods and landslides which harmed its people.

We should realize that not only in people’s lives, the disasters that hit will certainly affect the development which inevitably has to be stopped or canceled. The impact which occurred on the community, the families were evacuated, many of them also lost their loved ones, lost their homes, and jobs.

Many have had to flee to an unfamiliar place, because they have nowhere else to go. With the given condition, they desperately need supports and protection. This is where they need their rights to be realized. Especially the basic rights which include life, health, food, water, air and a safe, clean, healthy, and adequate environment to live in. This environmental right allows them to continue living their respective lives. Despite the climate change, both natural and man-made.

Regarding human rights and climate change, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) published a book in 2020 with the title “Climate Change, Disasters, and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific.” Using a rights-based approach, which revealed that many people return to their homes after evacuating, but others will be displaced for a longer period of time. Some of the refugees had to be resettled because returning to their homes was no longer an option as the place was deemed unsafe.

It is estimated that there are 25 million new refugees each year due to natural disasters.

An occurrence which transpired in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is reported that more than 400,000 residents have been displaced due to heavy rains and extreme flooding. This is only one of many examples where we have to care and help because this is not only their problem, but ours as well.

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