Mr. Md Arifur Rahman, Chief Executive of YPSA and Mr. Mohammad Shahjahan, Deputy Director (Head) – KM4D Department of YPSA met with Mr. Ian Fry, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change on the 4th and 5th September 2022 in Dhaka according to the invitation from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Consistent with the recent mandate given by the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/50/9), the Special Rapporteur wishes to explore how climate change is affecting the right to food. These aspects fit within the general notion of loss and damage. He also wishes to explore how climate change impacts are forcing people to be displaced from their land and what measures are being taken to address this displacement. He further wishes to study adaptation efforts by the Government of Bangladesh and communities to minimize the impacts of climate change and to build resilience to those impacts.
During the meeting, YPSA highlighted its interventions in all the above-mentioned areas and also explained why there is a need for the promotion and protection of the human rights of vulnerable people due to climate change. YPSA officials also emphasized the issue of climate justice and recommended need-based international human rights instruments under the United Nations as well as functioning the commitment under UNFCCC by the international community who are the causes of climate change.
Mr. Ian Fry (Tuvalu) is the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. He was appointed by the Human Rights Council at its 49th session in March 2022 (A/HRC/48/14) and started his mandate on 1 May 2022 (See full biography). The purpose of the visit to Bangladesh is to study and identify how the adverse impact of climate change affects the human rights of communities in vulnerable situations and to consider the economic consequences of these impacts.
During this visit, Special Rapporteur has been meeting with central and local authorities and/or judges, lawyers, national human rights institutions and representatives of civil society organizations in Bangladesh. He will visit Khulna and Sylhet to see the impact of climate change and to meet with persons and communities affected by climate change.
The Special Rapporteur will present his preliminary findings from the visit to Bangladesh on 15 September 2022 at the press conference. Access is strictly limited to journalists. Further, he will present a full report of the visit to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023. The report will contain findings and recommendations intended to strengthen the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of climate change in Bangladesh.