As Torres Strait Islanders we are on the frontline of the climate crisis, and urgent action is needed to ensure we remain on our islands.
“Every year the tides change. We see the seas wash Masig away. Erosion and sea level rise is affecting our island home. We are picking up our ancestors' bones as if they are shells, due to inundation of our burial grounds. For too long the Australian Government has held back action on climate change, putting our island homes at risk and ignoring our rights as First Nations Peoples,” Yessie Mosby.
Our Islands, Our Home is a climate justice campaign led by Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners, knowledge keepers, storytellers and community leaders to protect the Torres Strait. The campaign began in 2019 when eight claimants from the Torres Strait, known as the Torres Strait 8, brought a human rights complaint against the Australian Government to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations over the Government’s inaction on climate change.
In 2022, the Torres Strait 8 made international legal history after the UN found that the Australian Government is violating its human rights obligations to Torres Strait Islanders by failing to act on climate change. Following this landmark decision, Our Islands Our Home continues to hold the Australian Government accountable in protecting our island homes and keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Now, Torres Strait Islanders are building community support urging the Federal Government to protect Zenadh Kes from climate damage. What began as a complaint to the UNHCR has grown to become a powerful Torres Strait Islander led climate justice movement. Our goal is for Torres Strait Islanders to safely live and practise our cultures on our homelands for generations to come.