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Stephen Humphreys

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About the author and department

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Relevant research

International Council on Human Rights Policy, Climate Change and Human Rights: A Rough Guide (Versoix: ICHRP, 2008).

Stephen Humphreys (ed.), Human Rights and Climate Change (Cambridge: CUP, 2009).

‘Competing Claims: Human Rights and Climate Harms’, in Stephen Humphreys (ed.), Human Rights and Climate Change (Cambridge: CUP, 2009).

‘Conceiving Justice: Articulating Common Causes in Distinct Regimes’, in Stephen Humphreys (ed.), Human Rights and Climate Change (Cambridge: CUP, 2009).

International Council on Human Rights Policy, Beyond Technology Transfer: Protecting Human Rights in a Climate-Constrained World (Versoix: ICHRP, 2011).

Evidence of impact

Mary Robinson, President, the Mary Robinson Foundation—Climate Justice, former President of the Republic of Ireland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (from email dated October 14, 2011):

‘The report Stephen Humphreys prepared for ICHRP “Human Rights and Climate Change: A Rough Guide”, and his subsequent textbook, were ground breaking as they were the first substantive academic works in this area. I believe they had a significant impact on the UN Human Rights Council in adopting Resolutions in this area, and they were of assistance to OHCHR [UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights] in compiling a Report on the impact of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights. I have cited Humphreys’ work on numerous occasions, and have a high regard for his research and scholarship.’

Marc Limon, Counsellor to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva and to the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs, principal drafter of the language proposed by the Maldives and subsequently adopted, both at the UN Human Rights Council (in two resolutions) and at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Cancun, 2010 (in the final ‘Cancun Agreements') (from email dated October 19, 2011):

‘I think the book had a significant impact. Its timing was perfect—at a moment when many States just did not believe there was any link between human rights and climate change. The book helped us disprove this notion and was a very good lobbying tool. It also helped me understand the issue, which in turn helped me draft and negotiate the two resolutions, and to integrate human rights into the Cancun Agreements.’

Statement United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Kyung-wha Kang speaking at the Human Rights Council (event on “Perspectives on Human Rights and Climate Change”), Geneva, 13 September 2011:

‘Excellencies, Distinguished Panellists, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very honored to take part in this event ... and to be in the company of H.E. President Nasheed [of the Maldives], Ms. Mary Robinson, our former High Commissioner, and Dr. Humphreys – three leading voices who have spearheaded our collective journey to craft the human rights response to climate change.’

Source: Website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:

DFID Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, Evaluation of the International Council of Human Rights Policy Final Report, February 2010 By Asmita Naik, Mark de Pulford and Helen Baños Smith (Coffey International Development) For the Department of International Development:

‘Climate Change’ was a particularly influential piece of work, it caught the mood of the moment, was timely and authoritative… The ‘Climate Change’ report has enjoyed much success. The selection of the topic was particularly relevant and of immense global significance. The timing was just right as the report came into being as other initiatives and actors were starting to take a closer look at this issue. … [T]he impacts of this report can be seen at numerous levels. It fed into the thinking of other NGOs such as the Global Humanitarian Forum (GHF), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the World Council of Churches, all of whom acknowledge the contribution made by ICHRP’s report to their own work as well as the personal support provided by ICHRP staff in the development of their own documents. The report was very well received at UN and multilateral level too and provided important groundwork for the development of related documents by the OHCHR and the World Bank. [T]he most clear-cut cases of direct influence [include the] Maldives mission or Swiss/Norwegian governments…’

Relevant video and audio

Humphreys’ presentation on ‘Human Rights and Climate Change’ to the Climate Change knowledge group on 28 June 2012:

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