Impacts of climate change on human rights

Presented by: Daphne Rein, Gauthier Schoufs, Ioana-Sorina Alexa, Leyang Fu and Luna Plet

Global climate change presents a significant and multifaceted challenge to Taiwan, with anticipated increases in temperatures, heightened frequency of heatwaves, and intensified typhoons and extreme rainfall events across the country. Between 2006 and 2020, Taiwan experienced 384 instances of extreme climate events, underscoring the pressing nature of this issue1. The devastating impact of Typhoon Marakot serves as a perfect illustration of climate change’s profound effects on the human rights of the Taiwanese population. In 2009, this Typhoon resulted in the tragic loss of 699 lives, the destruction of 1766 homes, and the displacement of 4500 residents. As an NGO committed to advancing educational rights, Broken Chalk seeks to highlight the direct and future implications of climate change on human rights in Taiwan, specifically on the right to education.

Drawing from the aftermath of Typhoon Marakot, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan reported that 1273 schools were adversely affected, depriving children of their fundamental right to education. Furthermore, the widespread internal displacement stemming from this event also compounds challenges to educational rights. The financial hardships and administrative obstacles caused by displacement may impede enrollment and hinder school attendance. In addition, linguistic barriers further exacerbate the educational rights violations associated with internal displacement2. This is specifically the case for minorities and indigenous people. It is noteworthy that Taiwan is home to 16 officially recognised indigenous groups, representing a total of 2,4% of its population3.

Moreover, areas managing a large influx of displaced persons may face limitations in providing quality education. The cumulative impact of these challenges, coupled with the trauma experienced by affected individuals, is likely to create additional barriers to effective schooling. Taking an equity-based approach, Broken Chalk underscores the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to address the intersection of climate change and the preservation of human rights. These efforts are crucial to averting future occurrences of a similar nature.

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Featured image by Susan Melkisethian on Flickr.


1 Mucahid Mustafa Bayrak, “Global Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan: A

Critical Bibliometric Analysis and Review”. 2020. Available online: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-

1050/13/1/29

2 UNESCO, « The Impact of Climate Displacemet on the right to education. » 2019. Available online: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000374966

3 Council of Indigenous Peoples Council Confirmed Tribe Area. 2020. Available online:

https://www.cip.gov.tw/portal/docList.html?CID=7CDD0E527E32B424

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