UDHR Campaign 2013 Week Four: Climate and Environmental Justice

Update Type: 

October 28-November 1, 2013

Climate Justice is an issue area that illustrates perfectly how human rights are inter-related and interdependent. As the effects of climate change are becoming more visible in communities around the country, it is imperative that we recognize how the burden of climate change and environmental pollution have a disproportionate effect on low-income, minority and indigenous communities. In this vein, and in recognition of the critical work of our member and partner organizations, Week 4 of the #UDHR Campaign focuses on climate and environmental justice. 

On October 18-19, 2013, North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCJEN) held their 15th annual summit where over 130 people, representing a wide range of civil society organizations met to discuss and strategize ongoing environmental struggles. NCEJN is dedicated to health and environmental equality for all people through community organizing.

Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.) is a member of the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters and advocates for increased federal oversight of chemical plants and the transition to safer technologies in this recent Op-Ed in the Houston Chronicle. Join them in demanding greater safety standards that will benefit communities living in close proximity to potentially hazardous chemical plants by viewing and sharing this video.

Building on Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACATsuccess in 2011 where they were instrumental in the agreement to phase out the antiquated insecticide endosulfan, this year ACAT was instrumental in achieving a major victory in May 2013 with the decision of 179 nations of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Treaty to institute a global ban on the chemical HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane), a toxic and persistent chemical widely used in building insulation.

United Houma Nation is a state recognized tribe encompassing 17,000 people across six parishes in Southeastern Lousiana that provides education and social services, including the operation of a radio station, to the Houma people. They operate a program for youth that provides education and leadership training as well as volunteer opportunites for playing an active role in wetland stewarship that is currently threatened by rising sea levels.

Mossville Environmental Action Now (MEAN) is an organization working for more than 30 years on behalf of the residents of Mossville, Louisiana on multiple fronts: advocating for environmental justice, educating residents about the health and environmental impacts of toxic pollution; compelling federal and state environmental agencies to enforce human rights laws, and advocating for health services, relocation and pollution reduction to improve the lives and health of residents.

The Mississippi Coalition of Vietnamese American Fisherfolk and Families advocates for the human rights of what is arguably the highest concentration of Vietnamese outisde of Vietnam. Their work centers on bridging the gap between the people they serve, civil society organizations and federal agencies, providing culturally appopriate support services in the wake of environmental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill

WITNESS uses video to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. We empower people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change. In partnership with Our Children’s Trust and Kids v. Global Warming, WITNESS has produced a series of ten short documentaries, “Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery”.  Each video profiles a daring youth who is bringing their case to court to compel the U.S. government to protect our atmosphere, in trust, for future generations.

Related Information


UDHR Campaign 2013 Spotlight: Alaska Community Action on Toxics

November 1, 2013 Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) is a statewide environmental health and justice organization established in 1997 whose mission is to assure justice by advocating for environmental...
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UDHR Campaign 2013 Spotlight: North Carolina Environmental Justice Network

October 27, 2013 The North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN) believes strongly that all humans have the right to a quality of life that affords them good health and healthy...
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