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Government Should Address Remaining Accountability Gaps

(Ottawa) – New climate legislation adopted by the Canadian parliament on June 29, 2021 will increase transparency and accountability for the Canadian government’s efforts to meet its climate change commitments, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The Canadian Parliament buildings are seen in Ottawa, April 27, 2020. © 2020 Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP
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Concrete Plans Needed to Address Climate Crisis, Protect Rights

(London) – G7 member countries should take immediate and concrete action to end fossil fuel subsidies, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document released today. Ending these subsidies is key to countries meeting their human rights…
A Uniper coal-fired power plant and a BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Jan. 16, 2020. © 2020 Martin Meissner/AP Photo
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Government financial support for fossil fuels, including through subsidies, presents a key obstacle to achieving emissions reductions urgently needed to address the climate crisis. Subsidies artificially reduce the costs of fossil fuel production and…
Pumpjacks at an oil well site near Epping, N.D., Oct. 1, 2018. © 2018 Jim Wilson/The New York Times/GDA via AP Images
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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
News

One of Many Countries Waking Up to the Dangers of Chlorpyrifos

Last week, the Canadian government quietly released a three-year plan to phase out use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos. As Human Rights Watch has reported, the health risks associated with exposure to chlorpyrifos are well-documented. These…
Works plant strawberries farming quebec
News

More Ambitious Measures Needed to Protect Human Rights

At the US Climate Summit today, top ten greenhouse gas emitter Canada announced its long-awaited new emissions reduction target for 2030. While Canada has been at pains to present itself as a climate leader and ally alongside the US, with the new…
Justin Trudeau
News

Marking Five Years of Ongoing First Nations Water Crisis

Where would we be without water to drink, to wash and cook with, and to keep us healthy and alive? Water is essential. But as we mark another World Water Day, many First Nations communities in Canada still don’t have access to safe water. Five…
Water jugs in the community water center in Grassy Narrows, Canada. April 13, 2016. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
News

Briefing on Food Security in Northern Communities

Human Rights Watch is an independent, international organization conducting research and advocacy in some 100 countries worldwide. In 2020, Human Rights Watch released a report, “‘My Fear is Losing Everything’: The Climate Crisis and First Nations’ Right…
Weenusk First Nation member, Mike Wabano, sets up camp for caribou hunting on a frozen river near Peawanuck, December 14, 2019. As a result of warming temperatures, ice and snow cover is often thinner and more unstable.
News

Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Support First Nations in Budget 2021

Climate change was top of the agenda yesterday as US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met virtually to identify priorities for collaboration. Both countries committed to working together to accelerate action on…
Sun sets over snowy plains
News
President-elect Biden’s pledge to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States — and ensure that it finally does its part to tackle the climate crisis — is welcome news. So, too, is his promise to return the country to the Paris…
Weenusk First Nation member, Mike Wabano, sets up camp for caribou hunting on a frozen river near Peawanuck, December 14, 2019. As a result of warming temperatures, ice and snow cover is often thinner and more unstable.
News

Warming Up at Three Times Global Rate

Darius Elias remembers childhood summers spent out on the land in Old Crow Flats, northern Yukon wetlands, where members of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation spent months harvesting food each year. But few travel to Old Crow Flats these days, as…
Weenusk First Nations members packing their sleds ahead of a hunt near Peawanuck, Ontario, December 14, 2019.
News

Neskantaga First Nation

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, I write to you today to express Human Rights Watch’s deep concern that Neskantaga First Nation is once more in a state of emergency due to its inadequate water infrastructure. Human Rights Watch conducted research in…
Roxanne Moonias, mother to an infant with a chronic illness, demonstrates one of the steps she takes to ensure her baby is not exposed to contaminants in the water.
News

Proposed Legislation Falls Short

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has tabled legislation that would increase transparency of government efforts to meet climate change commitments.  Bill C-12, tabled November 19, would require the government to set and…
Weenusk First Nation member, Mike Wabano, sets up camp for caribou hunting on a frozen river near Peawanuck, December 14, 2019. As a result of warming temperatures, ice and snow cover is often thinner and more unstable.
Report
Summary Joseph Koostachin, 58, remembers when he and his wife Helen, 56, went out on the land to hunt and berry pick with their young children. In the summer, the forests and meadows were lush and the water in the rivers plentiful. The winters were…
News

Canada Is Failing Indigenous Peoples Facing Threats to Food, Health, and Land

In some of the most remote stretches of Canada – from the provincial norths to the territories – First Nations are facing serious threats to their ways of life because of the effects of climate change. A rapidly changing environment means harvesting food…
Weenusk First Nations members packing their sleds ahead of a hunt near Peawanuck, Ontario, December 14, 2019.
News

Mercury Contamination Sickens, Kills Indigenous Community Members

June 27 marks three years since federal and provincial authorities in Ontario, Canada, promised to clean up decades-old mercury contamination. Affected Indigenous residents are still waiting. In the 1960s and early 1970s, a chemical plant dumped…
Sign entering Grassy Narrows First Nation, in northwestern Ontario, Canada.