Torres Strait islanders take climate change fury to UN

Purple Island dancers at the Coming of the Light festival. IMAGE CREDIT: Cathy Finch

CANBERRA, May 13, 2019, 9News. Torres Strait islanders have gone to the United Nations in a bid to force the Australian government to do more to save their low-lying homes from the effects of climate change, reported the 9News.

Here’s what they’ll argue:

* Eight islanders will lodge an official complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Monday

* They accuse the Australian government of breaching their basic human rights by not adequately protecting their island homes from sea-level rises driven by climate change

* They say the government isn’t doing enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions and hasn’t funded vital protective infrastructure such as sea walls

*The islanders accuse the government of violating their rights to culture and life, enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

*18 legal experts who sit on the UN committee in Geneva will decide on the complaint, but a decision could take up to three years

*The government will likely be invited to respond

*The islanders hope a win will increase pressure on the government to act meaningfully on climate change

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