Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

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Alaska Institute for Justice

The Alaska Institute for Justice is dedicated to protecting the human rights of all Alaskans. The Institute works with Alaska Native communities to increase their adaptive capacity as they experience climate change impacts and to advocate for human rights protections as they face the permanent disappearance of the land on which they live and sustain livelihoods.

UUSC and the Alaska Institute for Justice (AIJ) developed a partnership in 2017 to advance a rights-based response that protects and respects the rights of Native Alaskan tribes who are threatened by encroaching erosion as a result of melting glaciers and sea level rise.

With UUSC’s support, AIJ assisted 15 Alaska Native communities to begin designing and implementing community-based monitoring of the impacts of environmental change on health, well-being and infrastructure.. Community-based monitoring provides critical information to determine whether and when relocation is required.

AIJ, in collaboration with 15 Alaska Native Tribes, is transforming governance systems to ensure that the human rights of Alaska Native communities are protected. One example of this is AIJ’s work to facilitate the co-production of knowledge between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service and 15 Alaska Native communities to document winter storms and their impacts on community infrastructure and well-being.

“UUSC’s support has been instrumental in raising the issue of climate-forced displacement, the human rights protections that must be addressed, and the critical importance of ensuring that the voices of the people and communities being displaced by climate change are heard at the local, national and international levels.” – Robin Bronen, AIJ Executive Director

Villagers of Chevak participating in an erosion monitoring training organized by AIJ and the Alaska Division of Geological Services

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