Input for UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Study on 'Human Rights and the Environment'
43 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2013 Last revised: 12 Feb 2015
Date Written: June 30, 2011
This paper contains an analysis of developments in international and national human rights law on the links between human rights and the environment, as submitted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in respect of her 2011 analytical study. The UNHCHR has published her final study on "Human Rights and the Environment" in December 2011 under UN Doc. A/HRC/19/34.
This paper, submitted by the Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM) as input for the study, puts forward the argument that currently there are a number of links established and recognized in respect of human rights and the environment, i.e. as relating to a) the recognition of environmental protection as a prerequisite for full human rights enjoyment; b) the use of human rights to improve environmental protection; c) the recognition and existence of a separate human right to the environment as such; d) the interrelatedness of human rights and environmental protection through the concept of 'sustainable development' e) the interrelatedness of human rights and environmental protection through the concept of human duties for environmental protection - as enshrined in many domestic constitutions.
Overall - on the basis of an analysis of current human rights case-law available at the European level specifically and an elaborate research of constitutional provisions on the right to a healthy environment nationally, both annexed to the paper - the authors specifically emphasize the importance and viability of pursuing an internationally recognized right to a healthy environment, and support a new mandate for a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment. (An independent expert was appointed by the UN in 2012).
Keywords: human rights, environment, right to a healthy environment, international law, European Convention on Human Rights
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation