Environmental disputes and human rights violations… (R.D. Clark)


Richard D. Clark ( John Carroll University , Ohio , USA )


Human rights violations; environmental degradation; corporate power


As multinational trade has become more prevalent, more governments are being pressured to lower their environmental standards to accommodate the wishes of large international corporations. With large profits at stake, governments and corporations allegedly are colluding to violate the rights of activists who work to protect the natural environment. As reports of detentions, beatings, rapes, and homicides of environmentalists increase, organizations as diverse as the Sierra Club and Amnesty International have banded together to try raise awareness of this issue. They hope to pressure governments and corporations into ensuring that the basic human rights of environmental activists are preserved. Focusing mostly on Central and South America, this paper will discuss the development of human rights, detail the alleged violations suffered by environmental activists, the reasons behind these violations, and document what steps that could be taken to help to ensure that the human rights of environmental activists are protected are discussed. Implications for the social sciences are noted.


(2009) 12 Contemporary Justice Review 129-146


Environmental disputes and human rights violations: a role for criminologists