Tag Archives: human rights violations

Should or Must?: Nature of the Obligation of States to Use Trade Instruments for the Advancement of Environmental, Labour, and Other Human Rights (S. J. Powell)

Author

Stephen J. Powell

Keywords

human rights, ethical obligations, legal quality, power, global harm principle, international law, accountability, human rights violations, transnational corporations, U.S. Alien Tort Statute

Abstract

This article examines whether customs, treaties, and historical facts have caused the ethical human rights obligations of economically powerful states to assume a legal quality. The author argues that the legal quality of these obligations may arise from the global harm principle of international law and human rights obligations found in treaties. As a consequence, states may be held accountable for the human rights violations of transnational corporations. Further, the author examines the possibility of pursuing claims under the U.S. Alien Tort Statute for torts committed in violation of international treaties as another avenue for enforcing human rights obligations.

Citation

(2007) Alberta Law Review 45 (2) pp. 443-56

Paper

Should or Must?: Nature of the Obligation of States to Use Trade Instruments for the Advancement of Environmental, Labour, and Other Human Rights

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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?

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The Blood of Going Green: Using Environmental Initiatives to Account for the Human Rights Violations of the Green Movement (N. Ketabi)

Author(s)

Noushin Ketabi

Keywords

green movement, human rights violations, biofuel development, science of climate change, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, soy industry, emissions reduction

Abstract

Part I of this Note first illustrates the science of climate change and the push for biofuel development. Next, this Note uses human rights to define the problems associated with biofuel development in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, and introduces the environmental law framework that can address these human rights violation. Part II details the main human rights violations in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay occurring at the hands of the soy industry, and surveys the main existing certification proposals that attempt to mitigate social and environmental abuses. Finally,Part III proposes ways that developed countries can collectively mitigate the negative human rights and environmental implications from biofuel development beyond their borders by implementing a comprehensive certification scheme in climate change initiatives that contain emissions reduction requirements.

Citation

(1991) 32(6) Fordham International Law Journal 1911.

Paper

The Blood of Going Green: Using Environmental Initiatives to Account for the Human Rights Violations of the Green Movement

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Advocacy Strategies for Promoting Greater Consideration of Climate Change and Human Rights in Development Activities: The Case of the West Seti Hydroelectric Project in Nepal (L. Johnson)

Author(s)

Lise Johnson

Keywords

Nepal, hydroelectricity, India, West Seti Hydroelectric Project (WSHP), climate change, human rights violations

Abstract

“I. INTRODUCTION
Construction may soon begin on the West Seti Hydroelectric Project (WSHP) in the western region of Nepal. The 750-megawatt facility, which will produce power primarily for export to India, involves construction of a 195-meter high dam on the Seti River that will inundate over 2000 hectares of land. The resulting reservoir, developments downstream of the dam, and transmission lines running from the WSHP are predicted to affect 18,269 people in 2,421 households, requiring an estimated 1,393 of those households to be resettled.

[…]

In light of the severe and long-term consequences of unwise development of a major dam project such as the WSHP—a project which will irreversibly destroy ecosystems, permanently alter land and water use in the development region, necessitate relocation and resettlement of thousands of people, and require investment of vast sums of government and private funds—this paper addresses the significant omissions in the WSHP’s EIA in an attempt to ensure that development of the project, if pursued, proceeds only with full disclosure of its possible costs and benefits. Only through such disclosure will development of the project be consistent with the human rights of the Nepali people. In Part II, this paper highlights the key climate change-related omissions from the EIA that render its portrayal of the project misleading. Then, in Part III, it discusses how the inadequate EIA violates the human rights of Nepalese people as guaranteed under both domestic Nepalese and international law. In Part IV, the paper suggests some promising options that advocates can use to remedy those violations. Finally, in Part V, this paper broadens the discussion beyond the West Seti; and illustrates how climate change-related considerations may affect other major development projects’ environmental and economic costs and benefits, and therefore should increasingly be taken into account during project selection and design. It then identifies how, if such considerations are not adequately addressed, advocates can seek to remedy those failings by employing the same or analogous strategies suggested for use in the case of the WSHP.”

Citation

(2010) 27 Pace Environmental Law Review 511

Paper

Advocacy Strategies for Promoting Greater Consideration of Climate Change and Human Rights in Development Activities: The Case of the West Seti Hydroelectric Project in Nepal

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Climate Change, Human Rights, and the Rights to be Cold (J. Harrington)

Author(s)

Joanna Harrington

Keywords

climate change, human rights, United States, human right to be cold, greenhouse gases, human rights violations

Abstract

“I. INTRODUCTION
In December 2005, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) (re-named the Inuit Circumpolar Council in July 2006) publicly lodged a lengthy petition against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission),1 a Washington D.C.-based organization that is one of two regional human rights bodies operating under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS). The petition alleged that the United States, as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was committing various human rights violations against the Inuit residents of the Arctic through its climate change and global warming practices and policies, including its decision not to ratify Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol).2 In essence, the United States was to be sued for violating the human right to be cold. A year later (according to news reports since no verification can be found in the documentation posted on the website maintained by the Commission),3 the ICC received a letter of rejection from the Commission indicating that the ICC petition had failed to meet the basic requirements of admissibility for further[…]”

Citation

(2006-07) 18 Fordham Environmental Law Review 513

Paper

Climate Change, Human Rights, and the Right to be Cold

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