Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

50th session of the Human Rights Council Annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women

Delivered by Mark Cassayre, Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva, IDLO

50th session of the Human Rights Council Annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women
Panel 1: Exploring the nexus between climate change and violence against women and girls through a human rights lens
27 June 2022

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

IDLO welcomes the initiative of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women to focus her upcoming report on violence against women and girls in the context of the climate crisis.

Mounting evidence indicates that women and girls face higher rates of violence during climate-related crises and instability.

This violence can threaten women’s access to natural resources in the context of scarcity, as well as create barriers to their participation in climate-related decision making.

In this light, IDLO advocates for an explicitly feminist approach to climate action.

Our recent Policy Brief, Climate Justice for Women and Girls: A Rule of Law Approach to Feminist Climate Action, underlines that protection for GBV survivors is critically important in crisis-affected contexts, such as the aftermath of climate disasters.

It calls for increased data on the intersection of climate change and gender-based violence, as well as gender-aware adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Likewise, IDLO’s upcoming research report with the Global Women's Institute of the George Washington University on ‘Survivor-centered Justice for Gender-Based Violence in Complex Situations’ stresses that measures aimed at ensuring access to justice for GBV survivors need to be responsive to women’s needs and vulnerabilities, including those linked to climate change.

GBV case management should be strengthened and scaled up, and multi-sectoral coordination and strong referral pathways should be developed to enhance access to justice in the aftermath of climate disasters.

In addition to our research, IDLO advances a rule of law perspective to feminist climate action across its programming. We recently began an initiative on advancing women and girls’ action for climate justice in Burkina Faso and the Philippines, with an explicit focus on increasing the capacity of institutions to develop gender-responsive climate laws for women and girls.

This programme builds on years of experience promoting the empowerment of women and countering gender-based violence across the world.

We look forward to engaging in dialogue on this issue. We would welcome the panellists’ insights on the most effective ways the law can advance this important cause.

Thank you.