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Human Rights Panel Holds First U.S. Hearing on Climate Crisis-Driven Migration in the Americas

HeadlineMar 01, 2024

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held a special hearing Thursday on climate change-fueled displacement. It’s part of an effort to have the organization formally recognize forced migration due to the climate crisis and establish legal protections for climate refugees and internally displaced people. Higinio Alberto Ramírez from Honduras is a survivor of last year’s deadly fire at a migrant jail in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, which killed 43 people. He was trying to make his way to the U.S. after he lost his livelihood when the shrimp farm where he worked was destroyed due to rising sea levels. This is part of his father’s testimony, voiced over by an interpreter.

Higinio Ramírez Ortega: “Let us not be looked at askance, saying, 'Oh god, here come some more immigrants. Block the border.' We have human rights. We simply are hoping for the chance of a better life. That’s all we want. And I can only hope, pray God, that the governments would get together and understand the situation and somehow find some decent, some humane way to address the problem.”

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