UNCRC climate decision is a missed opportunity – A response to Muhumuza and WepukhuluPosted: 9 February, 2022 Filed under: Elsabé Boshoff, Samrawit Getaneh | Tags: climate change, climate change litigation, Domestic remedial mechanisms, emissions, global warming, international human rights law, local remedies, national courts, Paris Agreement, positive change, public international law, renewable energy, UN children’s rights committee Leave a comment
Author: Elsabé Boshoff
PhD Fellow, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo
Author: Samrawit Getaneh Damtew
Human Rights Advisor, GIZ Ethiopia and Djibouti
The UN Children’s Rights Committee (CRC) received its first Communication on climate change-induced child rights violations in Sacchi, et al. v. Argentina, et al. In its admissibility decision, the CRC confirmed that climate change has child right impacts and states have extraterritorial responsibility for harmful effects of emissions. However, the Committee declared the Communication inadmissible for failing to exhaust local remedies. In their article on AfricLaw, Muhumuza and Wepukhulu argue that this decision was the right one. We argue why the Communication should have been admissible.
Criteria for exhausting domestic remedies
The above-mentioned article argued that the decision is in line with the settled rules of exhaustion of domestic remedies. While this may be a general rule, it has exceptions. The CRC Optional Protocol in article 7(3) provides that exhaustion of local remedies is not required where the remedy is “unreasonably prolonged or unlikely to bring effective relief”.