Category Archives: Poverty

Integrated Justice: Human Rights, Climate Change, and Poverty (S. L. Kass)

Author(s)

Stephen L. Kass

Keywords

human rights, climate change, poverty, justice, economic rights, civil rights, political rights, social rights, cultural rights

Abstract

The human rights community in the United States has remained largely silent on the human rights implications of climate change, the most far-reaching change in the Earth’s environment since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. 1 Many U.S. human rights organizations have also ignored or treated as background the growing numbers of people living or dying in extreme poverty in the developing world. Yet climate change is certain to exacerbate the severe environmental and economic conditions already faced by billions of people. These conditions contribute to widespread violations of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights that are the central concern of human rights organizations.

This Article outlines a role that human rights organizations in the United States and elsewhere can play in linking environmentally irresponsible conduct by governments and corporations to the violation of basic human rights. In addition, this Article identifies rights-based remedies for those violations. The goal is neither to assert a new right to a clean (or cooler) environment nor to prescribe specific climate change policies to governments or others. However, climate change and related environmental decisions made by governmental and corporate authorities must now take into account both procedural and substantive human rights and the impact of those decisions on the world’s poor. For the same reason, organizations committed to overcoming poverty, defending the environment, and protecting human rights should revise their tendency to view challenges, in developing nations and elsewhere, through a single lens and should pursue, either together …

Citation

(2009) 18 Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems 115.

Paper

Integrated Justice: Human Rights, Climate Change, and Poverty

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Solidarity after Bhopal: Building a Transnational Environmental Justice Movement (R. Pariyadath and R. Shadaan)

Authors

Renu Pariyadath, Reena Shadaan

Keywords

Bhopal, Environmental Justice, India, Solidarity, Transnational Environmental Justice Movement

Abstract

Environmental Justice is the essential peer-reviewed journal that explores the equitable treatment of all people, especially minority and low-income populations, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Published bimonthly

Citation

(2014) 7(5) Environmental Justice 146-150

Paper

Solidarity after Bhopal: Building a Transnational Environmental Justice Movement

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Climate Policy and the Poor: Some Perspectives (S. Byravan)

Author

Sujatha Byravan

Keywords

Climate, Climate Justice, Climate Policy, the Poor

Abstract

Environmental Justice is the essential peer-reviewed journal that explores the equitable treatment of all people, especially minority and low-income populations, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Published bimonthly

Citation

(2014) 7(5) Environmental Justice 142-145

Paper

Climate Policy and the Poor: Some Perspectives

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Avoiding Adaptation Apartheid: Climate Change Adaptation and Human Rights Law (M. J. Hall and D. C. Weiss)

Author(s)

Margaux J. Hall and David C. Weiss

Keywords

developing countries, United Nations, global warming, impacts of climate change, poverty, adaptation, climate consequences, human rights law, culpability

Abstract

There is now little doubt that humans will be forced to adapt to the impacts of a warming world. There is also little doubt that the poorest people in the poorest countries will bear most of the burden of adapting to climate consequences they had almost no role in creating. As the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has explained, “In the Netherlands, people are investing in homes that can float on water. The Swiss Alpine ski industry is investing in artificial snow-making machines,” but “[i]n the Horn of Africa, ‘adaptation’ means that women and young girls walk further to collect water.” In the Ganges and Mekong Deltas, “people are erecting bamboo flood shelters on stilts” and “planting mangroves to protect themselves against storm surges.” A final adaptation strategy in the Mekong? “[W]omen and children are being taught to swim.”

Despite these sobering realities, the question of whether climate change implicates human rights law at all has been relatively unexplored until recently. In 2007, for example, the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—the primary report from the United Nations-chartered body responsible for reviewing and assessing information on climate change—scarcely mentioned human rights in nearly 3,000 pages of analysis. However, multiple actors have begun to close this analytical gap: small island states and indigenous populations have claimed in a variety of international fora that climate change has threatened the human rights of their people; an increasing number of academic commentators have worked to explain how climate change issues implicate human rights law; and in 2009, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued the first UN report addressing the links between climate change and human rights.

The increasing incorporation of human rights law in climate change analysis is important, and the efforts to link climate change and human rights law have shifted from asking whether there is such a connection to examining the implications of the relationship. This recognition that climate change implicates human rights is significant because it provides a tangible legal framework for analyzing state actions that lead to climate change. Indeed, because the primary blame for climate change lies with the developed states that have caused the problem, and because human rights analyses are typically centered on state action, human rights provides a lens through which to analyze developed countries’ culpability.

Citation

(2012) 37 Yale Journal of International Law 309.

Paper

Avoiding Adaptation Apartheid: Climate Change Adaptation and Human Rights Law

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Human Rights, Environment and Development: With Special Emphasis on Corporate Accountability (A. Dias)

Author(s)

Ayesha Dias

Keywords

human rights, environment, development, corporate accountability, policy, praxis, poverty, environmental protection, conservation, sustainable human development

Abstract

This paper is in two parts addressing interrelated topics which merit separate scrutiny as well. Part I focuses on the interrelationships between human rights, environment and development. In doing so, the paper is less motivated by philosophical and academic concerns. Rather, it is motivated by concerns of policy and praxis. Environmental degradation is all too often resulting in serious human rights violations. Poverty and failure to realize basic human rights are placing the environment under severe stress. Development can serve as a key vehicle for promoting realization of human rights and protecting the environment. However, all too often, unsustainable development practices are themselves proving to be a main source of human rights violations and environmental degradation. Hence the paper strives to enhance the complementary relationship between promoting and protecting human rights; conserving, protecting and rehabilitating the environment; and achieving sustainable human development.

Citation

Ayesha Dias, Human Rights, Environment and Development: With Special Emphasis on Corporate Accountability (UNDP, 2000)

Paper

Human Rights, Environment and Development: With Special Emphasis on Corporate Accountability

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