Australia Climate Change Inaction Violated Islanders’ Rights, UN Finds

BERLIN (Reuters) – A United Nations committee found on Friday that Australia had violated the human rights of a group of islanders off its north coast by failing to adequately protect them from the impacts of climate change.

The complaint, filed over three years ago by eight Torres Strait Islanders and their children, is one of a growing body of climate cases being brought around the world on human rights grounds and the ruling is expected to embolden others.

“This decision marks a significant development as the Committee has created a pathway for individuals to assert claims where national systems have failed to take appropriate measures to protect those most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change on the enjoyment of their human rights,” U.N. Committee member Hélène Tigroudja said.

(Reporting by Emma Farge and Sonali Paul, editing by Rachel More)

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