Category Archives: Migration

Humanitarian Law, Protection of the Environment, and Human Rights (N.A.F. Popovic)

Author(s)

Neil A. F. Popovic

Keywords

Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, Environmental Destruction, Armed Conflict

Excerpt

Notwithstanding the relevance of international human rights to wartime environmental destruction, the international community tends to deal with war-related environmental harm through the modalities of humanitarian law. Although humanitarian law extensively regulates the conduct of war, that framework has neither proven effective in dealing with the environmental impact of war, nor does it provide remedies for affected people.

This comment proposes that increased accessibility of pertinent procedures, including human rights procedures, could provide useful mechanisms for addressing the environmental impact of armed conflict. Part II of the comment discusses the nature and extent of environmental problems associated with armed conflict. Part III discusses relevant legal principles and their limitations in relieving the environmental toll of war. Part IV presents several proposals for enhancing environmental protection in armed conflict. Part V concludes that it is necessary to expand the traditional scope of procedural and substantive mechanisms in order to ensure effective dealing with the environmental impact of war and the availability of remedies for the affected people.

Citation

(1995-6) 8 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 67-133

Paper

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Human Rights Violations and Climate Change: The Last Days of the Inuit People? (S. Nuffer)

Author

Sarah Nuffer

Keywords

human rights violations, climate change, Inuit, Arctic, vulnerability, responsibility, future generations, United Nations, native groups, indigenous people

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The climate is changing. There is little debate left with regard to this statement. However, the world is still grappling with what exactly this change means. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, recently stated that he is “convinced that climate change, and what we do about it, will define us, our era, and ultimately the global legacy we leave for future generations.” 3 Global Climate Change (“GCC”) has the potential to affect the world’s most developed groups, however, the people whose lives will likely be changed most by GCC are those who have “contribute[d] the least to greenhouse emissions.” 4

One of the groups that will be most affected by GCC are the Inuit of the Arctic region. There is a large degree of certainty that the Arctic’s climate is changing and as a result the Inuit people are being forced to change their way of life, their cultural identity, and in some cases, they are being forced to leave their ancestral lands. While the Inuit people must pay the “highest price … [and] are directly threatened by these rapid climatic changes” 5 because of their traditional way of life, they contributed little to GCC. This unfortunate paradigm, that those most affected by GCC are not responsible for its creation, is a theme that runs tragically true for many native people that lead a traditional and near carbon-free life. This Note will explore the effects of GCC on the Inuit people …

Citation

(2010) 37 Rutgers Law Record 182.

Paper

Human Rights Violations and Climate Change: The Last Days of the Inuit People?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Human Rights Approach to Environmental Protection (P. Pathak)

Author

Puneet Pathak

Keywords

Development, Environment, Human Rights, Sustainable Development

Abstract

Environmental protection and human rights are interrelated, interconnected, and mutually responsive as both of them intended to the well-being of humanity. Safe and healthy environment is the pre-condition for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. The linkage between these two approaches has recognised in various international and regional instruments, resolutions of the UN subsidiary organization, the outcome documents of international conferences, and the judicial pronouncement of tribunals, which consider the human rights framework as an effective means to achieving the ends of environment protection. Despite the evident relationship between these two, human rights violations and environmental degradation have been treated by most organizations, governments and even academia as unrelated issues. Environmentalists have tended to focus primarily on natural resource preservation without addressing human impacts of environmental abuse. A state of natural imbalance has been developed by many human-centric activities such as the industrialization, urbanization and the large scale exploitation of natural resources damaging the environment led to many serious repercussions on a large scale including Global Warming, drought, flood, environmental Refugees and migration, health issue, Ozone Depletion. Such issues involves not only environmental factors but other factors as well i.e. political, social, economic factors which requires the integration of both approaches to tackle the issues more holistically. The result of looking these two approaches separately is that the victims of environmental degradation are unprotected by the laws and mechanisms established to address human rights abuses. Linking human rights with the environment creates a rights-based approach to environmental protection that places the people harmed by environmental degradation at its center. Articulating the fundamental rights of peoples with respect to the environment creates the opportunity to secure those rights through human rights bodies in an international forum as well as the national tribunals. In this regard, the contribution made by the Indian judiciary for the protection of environment and to provide remedies to the victim of environmental harm by applying the right based approach to environmental protection is a clear example of how the framework of human rights can contribute in the protection of environment and the very existence of the humanity. The concept of sustainable development is very well served to interlink these approaches as it comprising three interrelated dimensions: environmental, economic and social. The present study is intended to describe the interlink between environmental protection and human rights approaches by analyzing instruments, initiatives taken by environmental and human rights bodies and the judicial pronouncement of various tribunals. Further it also evaluates how far the mechanism of human rights is helpful to provide remedies to the victim of environmental degradation and to provide better protection to the global environment

Citation

P. Pathak, Human Rights Approach to Environmental Protection (2014) Vol. 07, No. 01, OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development,  pp. 17-24

Paper

Human Rights Approach to Environmental Protection

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Climate-Induced Community Relocations: Creating an Adaptive Governance Framework Based in Human Rights Doctrine (R. Bronen)

Author(s)

Robin Bronen

Keywords

climigration, migration, climate change, displacement, climate refugees, southern hemisphere, global warming, ecology, humanitarian crisis, indigenous communities, Arctic, disaster relief

Abstract

The specter of millions of people fleeing their homes because of climate change has sparked an international debate about creating human rights protections for climate refugees. Though scholars and journalists have focused on the southern hemisphere, this crisis is occurring with unprecedented rapidity in the Arctic. In Alaska, temperatures have increased at twice the rate of the global average. Arctic sea ice is decreasing and permafrost is thawing. These ecological phenomena are creating a humanitarian crisis for the 200 indigenous communities that have inhabited the Arctic for millennia. Dozens of these communities are threatened because of climate-accelerated erosion, flooding, and extreme weather events. The traditional responses of hazard prevention and disaster relief are no longer protecting communities despite millions of dollars spent on erosion control and flood relief. Community relocation is the only feasible solution to permanently protect the inhabitants of these communities. This article describes the steps that federal, state, and tribal governments have taken to relocate Newtok, one of at least twelve indigenous communities in Alaska that need to relocate due to climate change. The policy and practical challenges to relocate the community are enormous and clearly demonstrate that new governance institutions need to be designed to specifically respond to climate-induced relocation. This Article ultimately proposes the creation of Guiding Principles of Climigration outlining key human rights principles that can guide an adaptive governance framework. This framework, in turn, will allow government agencies to transition their humanitarian response from protection in place to community relocation.

Citation

(2011) New York University Review of Law and Social Change 35 (2)  357

Paper

Climate-Induced Community Relocations: Creating an Adaptive Governance Framework Based in Human Rights Doctrine

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Climate Change, Human Rights, and Forced Migration: Implications for International Law (S. Atapattu)

Author(s)

Sumudu Atapattu

Keywords

climate change, forced migration, human development, IPCC, greenhouse gas emissions, international law, human rights

Introduction

“Climate change has been identified as the “defining human development issue of our generation” and possibly the “biggest humanitarian and economic challenge that the developing world will have to face in the coming decades.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognized unequivocally in its 4th report that global greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities have contributed to the warming of the Earth’s surface, ending years of debate on whether this is a human-made phenomenon or a natural one. […]”

Citation

(2009) 27 Wisconsin International Law Journal 607.

Paper

Climate Change, Human Rights, and Forced Migration: Implications for International Law

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail