Tag Archives: NGOs

The Roots of Influence: Nongovernmental Organizations and the Relationship Between Human Rights and the Environment (C. Tracy)

Author

Christopher Tracy

Keywords

NGOs, non-governmental organisations, human rights, environment, dignity, future generations, indigenous right, environmental protection, Rio, legitimacy, international relations

Extract

“Part I of this Article will address the history and development of NGOs. Particular attention will be given to the rationale espoused by various NGOs for their participation in certain global concerns or activities. The connections between human rights and environment NGOs will be discussed, as will the reason for this connection – namely, a “dignity” concern for living human beings, the living plant, those yet to be born and the future of this world. This connection between human rights and environmental organizations is most evident in the protection of indigenous peoples and their traditional lands.

Part II will continue the discussion by examining links between human rights and the environmental in international instruments. Although, there have been numerous connections made in previous human rights and environmental documents, the focus here will be on the developments made in Rio.

Part III will examine the tensions arising out of attempts to prioritize when human rights and environment concerns are to be addressed […]

Part IV will suggest that the NGOs’ diverse participation should continue well into the future before any major prioritization will have to occur. […]

This discussion will conclude with the suggestion that NGO involvement in the international regime will continue to grow and, as it does, a balance must be sought between legitimacy in action and vitality in mission” (pp. 24-25)

Citation

(1994) Journal of International Law and Practice 3 pp. 21-46

Paper

The Roots of Influence: Nongovernmental Organizations and the Relationship Between Human Rights and the Environment

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The “Participatory Revolution” in International Environmental Law (K. Raustiala)

Author(s)

Kal Raustiala

Keywords

International environmental law, NGOs

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

A distinguishing characteristic of environmental problems — that they adhere to ecosystems and geographic features rather than political boundaries — often renders national and local actions ineffective and frequently necessitates international cooperation. While international environmental law dates back almost 100 years, the last quarter century has witnessed exponential growth in the number and complexity of multilateral legal instruments aimed at environmental protection. Environmental law has become “one of the most dynamic areas of the international legal system,”  and has given rise to many substantive and procedural innovations in international law. Treaties constitute the core of the body of international environmental law. Treaties are by definition interstate compacts, and generally only states may negotiate them and undertake their obligations. But while states have traditionally been the dominant actors in the creation and maintenance of conventional international law, recent changes in international environmental law have afforded a historically unparalleled opportunity for participation by private, nongovernmental organizations (“NGOs”).  As has long been the case in domestic environmental law, NGOs are now major actors in the formulation, implementation, and enforcement of international environmental law.

Citation

(1997) 12 Harvard International Law Review 537

Paper

The “Participatory Revolution” in International Environmental Law

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Enforcing Environmental Human Rights: Selected Strategies of US NGOs (J. Cassel)

Author(s)

Jennifer Cassel

Keywords

environmental harm, human rights violations, international human rights law, NGO’s, US, United States, environmental human rights

Abstract

In spite of the clear link between environmental harm and human rights violations, international human rights law which contemplates environmental destruction as a violation of human rights has only recently begun to emerge, and clear definitions of environmental human rights have yet to be formulated. Scholars in the field have proposed different concepts of environmental rights, including environmental rights as new, separate human rights, and environmental rights as encompassed within previously established human rights. Three non-governmental organizations, Earthjustice, the Center for International Environmental Law (“CIEL”), and Earthrights, have strategically used those concepts in their pursuit of enforcing environmental human rights. Earthjustice’s strategy has involved working through the United Nations system toward establishing environmental rights as enforceable law. CIEL has pursued environmental rights enforcement by submitting petitions to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (“IACHR”). Finally, Earthrights International has focused on submitting amicus briefs in litigation in US federal courts under the Alien Torts Claims Act. Of the three strategies used by these organizations, CIEL’s strategy of petitioning the IACHR to recognize the violation of well-established human rights by means of environmental degradation has been most successful in enforcing environmental rights claims thus far. By continuing to petition regional tribunals like the IACHR to enforce both concepts of environmental rights, as well as pressing international bodies to recognize such rights, international law may finally come to recognize the inherent intertwining of human rights and the environment.

Citation

(2008) 6 Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights 104.

Paper

Enforcing Environmental Human Rights: Selected Strategies of US
NGOs

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Translantic Movements of Justice: A Story of Inspiration and Diversity (O.W. Pedersen)

Author

Ole Windahl Pederson

Keywords

UK , environmental justice, NGOs, grassroots, civil rights

Abstract

This paper aims to analyze environmental justice in the United Kingdom (UK) in light of the achievements of the highly successful environmental justice movement in the United States. The paper describes how the various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and grassroots groups pursuing environmental justice aims in the UK have shaped their campaigning and methods, in spite of the lack of a civil rights movement upon which to base their work and draw inspiration from. This has forced the UK environmental justice groups to look elsewhere for inspiration and has led to a situation where the connotation of environmental justice is one of diversity and multiplicity. Nevertheless, and in spite of this diversity, the NGOs aspiring to achieve environmental justice in the UK have been successful in forcing the issue of equity and justice into the public debate and political scene in the UK.

Citation

(2009) 2 Environmental Justice 35

Paper

Translantic Movements of Justice: A Story of Inspiration and Diversity

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail