Protesters gathered near the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on Sunday (Dec. 10) to demand an end to the killings and human rights violations against Indigenous peoples worldwide.
According to information compiled from reports by the UN, UN Development Program (UNDP), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Indigenous communities are among the most affected by the consequences of the climate crisis.
Ozawa Bineshi Albert, an activist with the Climate Justice Alliance, emphasized the significance of these communities in facing the immediate impacts of the climate crisis. “When I think about the communities affected by climate change, those impacted by industries negotiating here, they are the frontline communities,” Albert said.
Albert expressed concerns about the potential harm faced by these communities if their voices weren’t present in the negotiations, highlighting the pressing need for their representation.
The demonstrations took place on Human Rights Day, with various calls for action. Some activists called for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, while others urged the protection of climate justice and labor rights, specifically for migrant workers.
Farooq Tariq, General-Secretary of the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee, emphasized the struggles faced by migrant workers in the Middle East, advocating for equal rights, citizenship, voting rights, and fair wages for this marginalized community.
Earlier in the day, scientists and young activists staged a separate climate protest at the COP28 venue. They displayed a banner illustrating the changes in global temperatures from the 1950s to the present day, projecting potential scenarios for the end of the century.
Negotiators at the UN climate talks were under pressure to streamline their options and reach agreements to mitigate disastrous levels of global warming. COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber acknowledged progress but expressed urgency in accelerating negotiations to address the climate crisis effectively.