Tag Archives: Healthy Environment

The Implicit Constitutional Right to Live in a Healthy Environment (D. R. Boyd)

Author

David R. Boyd

Keywords

constitutional rights, healthy environment, environmental rights, human rights

Abstract

The right to a healthy environment has rapidly gained constitutional protection around the world. In at least twenty countries, recognition of the right to a healthy environment first occurred through court decisions determining that it is implicit in other constitutional provisions, primarily the right to life. The right is now recognized explicitly in the constitutions of 90 countries spanning Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, and is recognized as an implicit and enforceable constitutional right in at least twelve additional countries. The decisions of international courts and tribunals provide further support for concluding that the right to life necessarily includes the right to a healthy environment.

Citation

(2011) 20 Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 171

Paper

The Implicit Constitutional Right to Live in a Healthy Environment

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The Contribution of International Rights Law to Environmental Protection, with Special Reference to Global Change (A. A. Cançado Trindade)

Author(s)

A.A. Cançado Trindade

Keywords

human rights, environmental protection, globalization, internationalization, temporal dimension, right to life, Ratio Legis, right to health, healthy environment, vulnerability, implementation, international refugee law

Abstract

I. The Growth of Human Rights Protection and Environmental Protection: From Internationalization to Globalization.

II. The Incidence of the Temporal Dimension in Environmental Protection and in Human Rights Protection.

III. The Fundamental Right to Life at the Basis of the Ratio Legis of International Human Rights Law and Environmental Law.

IV. The Right to Health as the Starting-Point towards the Right to a Healthy Environment.

V. The Right to a Healthy Environment as an Extension of the Right to Health.

VI. The Protection of Vulnerable Groups at the Confluence of International Human Rights Law and International Environmental Law.

VII. The Recognition of the Right to a Healthy Environment: The Concern for Environmental Protection in International Human Rights Instruments.

VIII. Concern for the Protection of Human Rights in the Realm of International Environmental Law.

IX. Concern for the Protection of the Environment in the Realm of International Humanitarian Law.

X. Protection of the Environment and International Refugee Law

XI. The Question of the Implementation (Mise en Oeurre) of the Right to a Healthy Environment.

XII. The Right to a Healthy Environment and the Absence of Restrictions in the Expansion of Human Rights Protection and Environmental Protection.

Citation

A.A. Cançado Trindade, ‘The Contribution of International Rights Law to Environmental Protection, with Special Reference to Global Change’ in: Environmental Change and International Law: New Challenges and Dimensions, Edith Brown Weiss ed. (The United Nations University, 1992)

Paper

The Contribution of International Rights Law to Environmental
Protection, with Special Reference to Global Change

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European Committee of Social Rights: the right to a healthy environment (M. Trilsch)

Author

Mirja Trilsch

Keywords

Air pollution, Greece, health hazards, positive obligations, public health, state liability, human rights, healthy environment.

Abstract

Discusses the European Committee of Social Rights decision in Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights (MFHR) v Greece (30/2005) on whether Greece had failed to comply with its positive obligations under the European Social Charter 1961 art.11, guaranteeing the right to health, by taking insufficient measures to guard against public health risks from air pollution caused by lignite mining operations. Considers whether a right to a healthy environment is embodied within the right to health. Assesses whether the state could be held accountable for the activities of private mining companies.

Citation

(2009) 7(3) International Journal of Constitutional Law, 529-538.

Paper

European Committee of Social Rights: the right to a healthy environment.

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Linking Human Rights and Environment (R. Picolotti and J.D. Taillant)

Author(s)

Romina Picolotti and Jorge Daniel Taillant

Keywords

Environmental protection, human rights, healthy environment, remedy, mechanisms, redress

Abstract

Through examples ranging from water rights to women’s rights, this collection offers practical ways in which environmental protection can be approached through human rights instruments. Its coverage includes reviews of existing international laws and treaties that establish the rights to a healthy environment, an overview of mechanisms that allow both individuals and groups to seek remedy for abuses, and specific cases that document efforts to seek redress for victims of environmental degradation through existing human rights protection mechanisms.

All over the world, people are experiencing the effects of ecosystem decline, from water shortages to fish kills to landslides on deforested slopes. The victims of environmental degradation tend to belong to more vulnerable sectors of society–racial and ethnic minorities and the poor–who regularly carry a disproportionate burden of such abuse. Increasingly, many basic human rights are being placed at risk, as the right to health affected by contamination of resources, or the right to property and culture compromised by commercial intrusion into indigenous lands.

Despite the evident relationship between environmental degradation and human suffering, human rights violations and environmental degradation have been treated by most organizations and governments as unrelated issues. Just as human rights advocates have tended to place only civil and political rights onto their agendas, environmentalists have tended to focus primarily on natural resource preservation without addressing human impacts of environmental abuse. As a result, victims of environmental degradation are unprotected by the laws and mechanisms established to address human rights abuses.

This book brings together contributions from human rights and environmental experts who have devoted much of their work to unifying these two spheres, particularly in the legal arena. It presents a variety of issues and approaches that address human rights and environmental links, demonstrating the growing interrelationship between human rights law and environmental advocacy. Its coverage includes reviews of existing international laws and treaties that establish the rights to a healthy environment, an overview of mechanisms that allow both individuals and groups to seek remedy for abuses, and specific cases that document efforts to seek redress for victims of environmental degradation through existing human rights protection mechanisms.

Through examples ranging from water rights to women’s rights, this collection offers practical ways in which environmental protection can be approached through human rights instruments. The volume reproduces a legal brief (amicus curiae) filed before an international human rights tribunal making the human rights and environment linkage argument, and includes the subsequent precedent-setting decision handed down by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights recognizing this linkage.

Linking Human Rights and Environment is a valuable sourcebook that explores the uncharted territory that lies between environmental and human rights legislation. More than a theoretical treatise, it argues that human rights activism presents a significant opportunity to address the human consequences of environmental degradation and can serve as a catalyst for inspiring ideas and action in the real world.

Citation

Romina Picolotti and Jorge Daniel Taillant, Linking Human Rights and Environment ( University of Arizona Press , USA 2003)

Book

Linking Human Rights and Environment

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When interests clash: the right to water in South Sudan: Fiona Lubett and Afshin Akhtarkhavari

Authors

Fiona Lubett and Afshin Akhtarkhavari

Keywords

Rights, healthy environment, access to water, competing interests, South Sudan, White Nile

Abstract

Access to water is a significant twenty-first century concern but the right to it, couched in the context of the human rights discourse, while often able to assist with short-term solutions, particularly in developing countries, lacks the longer-term ability to protect ecosystem services. The right to a healthy environment, by contrast, is much broader in its reach and has potential to provide for longer-term and broader solutions to development challenges, particularly for countries emerging from war and conflict. This article draws on the situation in South Sudan to explore and critique the utility of the right to water in post-conflict resolution efforts. Given that the White Nile, and water more generally, was central to the violence that led to South Sudan’s independence from Sudan, water continues to be a currency (for consumption and also for the agricultural sector) in addition to oil, which is a major source of income for the new country. Article 41 of the Transitional Constitution for South Sudan provides for the protection of the environment, which this paper argues, is more in line with the human right to a healthy environment and is more suited to long-term developments; not just of South Sudan’s economy but also to its peace-building agenda. South Sudan is likely to be much better served by continuing to build momentum around initiatives that take account of access to water in the broader context of protecting the environment that it is sourced from. In this sense, the article provides a critique of the utility of the right to water discourse as a means of ensuring that people in developing countries have access to it. It argues that the use of the language and discourse of the right to water must at times be subservient to other kinds of rights, especially if the water right is likely to be narrowly interpreted, prohibiting ecological considerations from being properly taken into account.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 49-73

Paper

When interests clash: the right to water in South Sudan

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