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Working towards a better, fairer, greener world for all

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Climate change is not just an environmental issue, it’s a threat to human rights and deepens inequality by disproportionately affecting people marginalized by poverty. This year, access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment was recognized as a fundamental human right.

Schoolgirl wading through flood waters with her school bag above her head

Today is the day the world recognizes fundamental human rights such as the right to life, to health, to food and to enjoy an adequate standard of living that many of us take for granted, but still more are unable to access.

This year’s Human Rights Day is dedicated to equality and, in particular, to rebuilding a world that is better, fairer and greener. It follows on from the UN Human Rights Council’s decision on 8 October to recognize access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a universal human right, as called for by organizations including Unilever.

The impact of climate change on human rights

People living in vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected by climate change and are at higher risk of Human Rights violations.

Many of them have experienced human rights harms caused by climate change first hand, from extreme weather conditions impacting their access to natural resources such as clean water or a fall in agricultural productivity.

For example, 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. Four million girls in low and lower middle-income countries were prevented from completing their education in 2021 because of climate-related events.

On Human Rights Day, we look at four ways we’re working across Unilever to address climate change and help the communities most impacted by it.

Taking action on climate change is taking action on human rights

Taking individual action begins by becoming informed on how your decisions impact the environment. Consider getting involved in your local community and finding out how you can make a difference at a local level.

For ideas on how you can help ensure a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, visit the Unilever Take Action Hub. You can also share your support for this right by adding your photo to a UN filter here and sharing it on social media using the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights.


Unilever’s latest Human Rights report will be available in Q1 2022. Read about our progress in previous years here.

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