International Legal Protection for Victims of Environmental Abuse (M.L. Schwartz)


Michelle Leighton Schwartz


Human Rights, Right to life, Rights of indigenous peoples, procedural human rights, human right to a healthy environment, environmental refugees, desertification, flooding, international finance institutions, International Court of Justice, International Labour Organisation


Environmental disasters are increasing. They often result from human activities, such as the disposal of toxic chemicals, the generation of power, and the exploitation of oil. Mismanagement of natural resources has caused severe watershed erosion, desertification and atmospheric pollution which, in turn, have seriously impaired human life. Although the human suffering associated with environmental destruction is growing, international and regional human rights institutions have yet to clarify the obligations of governments to protect and provide remedies for these victims. This paper seeks to inspire such clarification and suggests legal and institutional reforms toward that end.


(1993) 18 Yale Journal of International Law 355


International Legal Protection for Victims of Environmental Abuse