Historic UN Human Rights case opens door to climate change asylum claims

In a case concerning an asylum application in New Zealand by a man from Kiribati, the UN Human Rights Committee has ruled that "countries may not deport individuals who face climate change-induced conditions that violate the right to life."


"GENEVA (21 January 2020) – In its first ruling on a complaint by an individual seeking asylum from the effects of climate change, the UN Human Rights Committee* has stated that countries may not deport individuals who face climate change-induced conditions that violate the right to life.

...The Committee determined that in Mr. Teitiota's specific case, New Zealand's courts did not violate his right to life at the time of the facts, because the thorough and careful evaluation of his testimony and other available information led to the determination that, despite the serious situation in Kiribati, sufficient protection measures were put in place. "Nevertheless," said Committee expert Yuval Shany, "this ruling sets forth new standards that could facilitate the success of future climate change-related asylum claims.""

Historic UN Human Rights case opens door to climate change asylum claims (UN Human Rights, link):

See the ruling: Views adopted by the Committee under article 5 (4) of the Optional Protocol, concerning communication No. 2728/2016 (pdf)

 

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