The impact of climate change on the rights of persons with disabilities

Climate change has been demonstrated to have both a direct and indirect impact on the effective enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are often among those most adversely affected in an emergency, sustaining disproportionately higher rates of morbidity and mortality, and at the same time being among those least able to have access to emergency support.

The adverse impacts of climate change on individuals with multiple vulnerability factors, including women and girls with disabilities, require adequate measures that take into account their specific requirements and ensure their participation in disaster response planning for emergency situations and evacuations, humanitarian emergency response and healthcare services.

The meaningful participation, inclusion and leadership of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations within disaster risk management and climate-related decision-making at the local, national, regional and global levels, lies at the heart of an approach to climate action that is respectful of the rights of persons with disabilities.

Activities, events and reports

As part of OHCHR's work on disability-inclusive climate action, the following activities have been conducted. Read about them in more detail below.

Analytical study on the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change

Human Rights Council resolution 41/21 (A/HRC/RES/41/21) requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare "an analytical study on the promotion and the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change…" and a panel discussion at the 44th session of the Human Rights Council on the same topic.

To inform the study and panel discussion, OHCHR transmitted a Note Verbale [English] [French] and Questionnaire [English] [French] to Member States, NGOs, UN Agencies, IGOs, Academic Institutions and NHRIs, inviting them to respond to the questionnaire and provide input. The inputs received are available below.

Read the Analytical study on the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change.

Easy to read version in English.

Human Rights Council panel discussion on the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change

Human Rights Council resolution 41/21 (A/HRC/RES/41/21) decided to incorporate into its programme of work for the 44th session a panel discussion on the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change. The panel concept note, statements of the participants and video of the panel are available below.

Statements by panellists

Inputs received for the Analytical study on the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of climate change


States

National Human Rights Institutions

United Nations

Civil Society Organizations

Experts