Tag Archives: World Bank

Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and the Global South (C. G. Gonzalez)

Author(s)

Carmen G. Gonzalez

Keywords

human rights, right to a healthy environment, environmental justice, Third World Approaches to International Law, TWAIL, North-South divide, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, colonialism, development, transnational corporations, Maastricht principles, extraterritoriality

Abstract

From the Ogoni people devastated by oil drilling in Nigeria to the Inuit and other indigenous populations threatened by climate change, communities disparately burdened by environmental degradation are increasingly framing their demands for environmental justice in the language of environmental human rights. Domestic and international tribunals have concluded that failure to protect the environment violates a variety of human rights (including the rights to life, health, food, water, property, and privacy; the collective rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and resources; and the right to a healthy environment).

Some scholars have questioned the utility of the human rights framework given the diminished governance capacity of many Third World states due to decades of intervention by international financial institutions and restrictions imposed by trade and investment agreements. Others have expressed doubts about the ability of human rights law to adequately articulate and advance the aspirations and resistance strategies of diverse grassroots social justice movements, and have warned about the susceptibility of human rights law and discourse to co-optation by powerful states to advance their own economic and political interests (for example, through “humanitarian intervention” in Third World states).

This article examines the promise and the peril of environmental human rights as a means of challenging environmental injustice within nations as well as the North-South dimension of environmental injustice. Drawing a distinction between human rights discourse as a tool of popular mobilization and human rights law as codified in legal instruments and enforced by international institutions, the article examines some of the limitations of human rights law as an instrument of resistance to environmental injustice and offers several strategies to enhance its emancipatory potential.

Citation

(2015) 13 Santa Clara Journal of International Law 151

Paper

Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and the Global South

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To claim our rights: Livelihood Security, Human Rights and Sustainable Development (C. MOSER AND A. NORTON)

Authors

Caroline Moser and Andy Norton

Keywords

human rights, policy, sustainability, poverty reduction, sustainable development, livelihood security, World Bank

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to explore the potential contribution of a human rights
perspective to the development of policies and programmes that strengthen the sustainability of
poor people’s assets and livelihood security. To achieve this it outlines a conceptual framework
for addressing issues of empowerment and poverty reduction, by examining the links between
human rights and asset and livelihood security as they relate to the issue of sustainable
development.

The particular relevance of developing such a framework relates to the opportunity provided by
the World Bank’s decision to focus its 2002/3 World Development Report on the theme of
sustainable development, as well as the Social Development Department’s upcoming Social
Development Strategy Paper. In policy terms, therefore, the main focus of the paper is on the
specific context of the World Bank.

The first section outlines the objectives of the paper, and highlights the considerable challenges
that this task presents.

Section two reviews key elements in human rights, livelihoods and sustainable development
debates. This shows that the concepts of livelihoods and sustainable development both require a
stronger analysis of power relations, institutions and politics if they are to provide a useful basis
for an holistic understanding of development processes. In assessing the potential of a human
rights perspective to address this missing dimension, there are a number of unresolved issues
relating to the practical integration of a human rights perspective into development
interventions. Nevertheless a human rights framework provides a useful entry point for the
analysis of asymmetries in power and the institutions that reinforce those relations.
The third section then develops a conceptual framework for the analysis of the human rights
dimensions of livelihoods, supported by case study material. This operates at three levels;
normative, analytical and operational.

The final section pulls together some of the most relevant issues highlighted by the conceptual
framework. It argues that a rights and livelihoods perspective provides the basis for developing a
more concrete understanding of social sustainability and, concomitantly, sustainable
development. It outlines two propositions for analysing social sustainability from a rights and
livelihoods perspective, and identifies missing gaps in the paper that require further elaboration.
The rest of this summary highlights the key points from each section.

Citation

Caroline Moser and Andy Norton, To Claim our Rights: Livelihood Security, Human Rights and Sustainable Development (Oversees Development Institute: 2001)

Book

To claim our rights: Livelihood Security, Human Rights and Sustainable Development

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Privatisation of Water: A Historical Perspective (N. Prasad)

Author

Naren Prasad

Keywords

International organisations, MDG, privatisation, United Nations, water history, World Bank

Abstract

Currently, over one billion people worldwide do not have access to drinking water, especially in the developing countries. Since access to water supply became one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), greater attention has been given to this sector. Increasing water coverage and maintaining infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges confronting the water supply sector in developed and developing countries. Very often, water sector reform takes place by involving the private sector. How did this debate start and what is the rationale for the involvement of the private sector? This article looks at the history to demonstrate that private sector has indeed been instrumental in developing water infrastructure in industrialised countries. It also shows how international organisations have shaped today’s water debate. It concludes by arguing that private sector participation in water supply may not be the right option and calls for re-thinking of the water debate.

Citation

(2007) 3(2) Law, Environment and Development Journal 217

Paper

Privatisation of Water: A Historical Perspective

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The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights (C Gonzalez)

Author

Carmen G. Gonzalez

Keywords

Human rights law, food security, food sovereignty, right to food, biodiversity, WTO, trade policy, international environmental law, IMF, World Bank, international law, climate change, biofuels, agricultural law, international trade law, political economy

Abstract

The global food system is exceeding ecological limits while failing to meet the nutritional needs of a large segment of the world’s population. While law could play an important role in facilitating the transition to a more just and ecologically sustainable food system, the current legal framework fails to regulate food and agriculture in an integrated manner. The international legal framework governing food and agriculture is fragmented into three self-contained regimes that have historically operated in isolation from one another: international human rights law, international environmental law, and international trade law. International trade law has taken precedence over human rights and international environmental law to the detriment of small farmers and the environment. The article analyzes the international legal regime applicable to food and agriculture, explains the ways in which the current regime perpetuates food insecurity and unsustainable cultivation practices, and argues that agriculture should be removed from the purview of the World Trade Organization. The article concludes by sketching out some of the elements of an alternative approach to global governance based on the concept of food sovereignty.

Citation

Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 26, No. 3, Winter 2012
Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 12-12

Publication

The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights

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Rocks and Hard Places: The Globalization of Mining (R. Moody)

Author

Roger Moody

Keywords

World Bank, miners, resources

Abstract

The world of international mining is changing rapidly. Mining corporations are encroaching on more and more greenfield sites in Africa, the Asia-Pacific and Latin America, to serve ever-expanding global industries. Moody shows that large-scale mining imposes a heavy toll on local communities, on their fragile economies and ways of life, as well as the environment. He challenges the mining corporations’ recent public relations offensive extolling the virtues of large-scale mining and its alleged compatibility with sustainable development, and reveals the unprecedented wave of community and trade union opposition to projects in both the South and the North. This important book concludes with urgent proposals to check the role of multinationals in a sector that has always been at the core of resource exploitation.

Citation

Roger Moody, Rocks and Hard Places: The Globalization of Mining (Zed Books, 2007)

Book

Rocks and Hard Places: The Globalization of Mining

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