Civil society organizations at COP28 in Dubai have arranged a striking display of children’s shoes on the ground as a silent protest, advocating for climate justice alongside human rights.
The poignant message, “No climate justice without human rights,” aims to draw attention to the tragic consequences of climate-related conflicts and their impact on vulnerable communities.
Remembrance of Lives Lost:
The displayed shoes symbolize the loss of lives, particularly the tragic deaths of around 6,000 children among the more than 15,000 casualties in Gaza due to ongoing Israeli bombings.
Shirine Jurdi from Lebanon’s Women’s Environment and Development Organization emphasized the significance of these shoes as a representation of young lives lost amidst conflict.
Personal Stories Behind Each Pair:
Climate activists stress that each pair of shoes carries a story, representing the lives and tragedies faced by innocent children.
Personal accounts, like that of Mohammed, who lost his cousin due to inadequate medical facilities following an air strike in Gaza, underscore the devastating human toll of these conflicts.
Climate Justice and Human Rights Intersection:
Activists highlight the intricate connection between militarism, wars, and carbon emissions, emphasizing the imperative linkage of climate justice with the pursuit of just peace and human rights.
Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo from Ibon International underscores the disparity in funds allocated to conflicts versus climate action, shedding light on sacrificing human rights for profit-driven motives.
Children’s Vulnerability to Climate Crisis:
The display also draws attention to children’s vulnerabilities amid the climate crisis. Unicef’s statistics reveal alarming figures, indicating the profound impact of climate change on children, from water scarcity to education disruptions and worsening malnutrition.
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