People displaced by climate crisis to testify in first-of-its-kind hearing in US

(The Guardian, 1 Mar 2024) Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hear how climate is driving forced migration across the Americas.

Communities under imminent threat from rising sea level, floods and other extreme weather will testify in Washington on Thursday, as the region’s foremost human rights body holds a first-of-its-kind hearing on how climate catastrophe is driving forced migration across the Americas.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hear from people on the frontline of the climate emergency in Mexico, Honduras, the Bahamas and Colombia, as part of a special hearing sought by human rights groups in Latin America, the US and the Caribbean.

A growing number of migrants and refugees trying to seek sanctuary in the US and other countries are being displaced by hurricanes, heatwaves and drought, as well as slow-onset climate disasters such as ocean acidification, coastal erosion and desertification.

The witnesses will include Higinio Alberto Ramírez from Honduras, who last year suffered life-altering injuries when a fire razed a detention center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, killing 43 migrants from Latin America. Ramírez is from Cedeño, a coastal fishing town that is disappearing under rising sea levels, and was trying to reach the US to pay off family debts after tidal waves destroyed the shrimp nursery where he and his father worked.

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The Guardian, 1 Mar 2024: People displaced by climate crisis to testify in first-of-its-kind hearing in US