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350 Australia

Our Islands Our Home

Our Islands Our Home



Impact AreaSafeguarding our Environment

Year First Supported 2020


Our Islands Our Home is a campaign led by Torres Strait Islanders to protect their island homes. As part of the campaign, eight claimants from Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands) also known as the #TorresStrait8 have brought a human rights complaint against the Australian Federal Government to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations over the Government’s inaction on climate change.


Torres Strait Islanders are on the frontline of the climate crisis, and urgent action is needed to ensure they can remain on their Islands. Right now, king tides, erosion, inundation and coral bleaching are threatening the homes and cultures of Torres Strait Islander people, while the Australian Government refuses to address the climate crisis.

The Torres Strait 8 are calling for Australia to drastically reduce emissions and invest in protecting their islands against rising sea levels. At the current rate of rising sea levels, the Torres Strait Islands will be under water within about 10 years, forcing the relocation and loss of culture and way of life for some of Australia’s First Nations communities.

RESPONSE, the Gur A Baradharaw Kod (BDK) Torres Strait Land and Sea Council and ClientEarth are partnering on the Our Islands Our Home campaign to raise public awareness of the landmark legal case, seeking to shift the narrative on climate change and advocate for concrete change for Indigenous Australians on the frontline of the climate crisis.

Despite being amongst some of the most adversely impacted First Nations communities in the world, Torres Strait Islanders have not had their voices elevated in a campaign like this before. While not binding, this UN case could set a precedent and place global pressure on Australia to commit to climate action.



On September 23 2022 the United Nations Human Rights Committee found that the Australian Government is violating its human rights obligations to Torres Strait Islanders by failing to act on climate change.

In its decision, the Committee agreed with the complaint stating that:

  • Climate change was indeed currently impacting the claimants’ daily lives;
  • To the extent that their rights are being violated; and,
  • That Australia was breaching its human rights obligations to the people of the Torres Strait by failing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions quickly enough.
  • The committee majority found that Australia’s poor climate record is a violation of their right to family life and right to culture under the global human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • A minority also found that the Government had violated their right to life.

The campaign is now building on this win by calling on the Government to take urgent action to ensure the safe existence of the islands. A petition with more than 47,000 signatures will be presented by Torres Strait Eight members to the Australian Government at Parliament House in late 2022. Australia is a grassroots movement of 60,000 individuals and local groups across the country.'s vision is for a future that is just and equitable, with our communities and ecosystems thriving and protected from the impacts of climate change.

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