The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration and the contemporary human rights emergency of climate change

by David R. Boyd - UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Monday 10th December 2018, Geneva, New York and Katowice Two concurrent news stories, seemingly unrelated. First, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a moment in history reflecting humanity’s ambition for a more just and equal world. Second, world leaders gathered in Katowice, Poland, to finalise the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. …

The future of human rights accountability edges closer: Magnitsky laws move to centre stage in the US and Europe

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The extrajudicial killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, and the international reaction thereto, could well represent a defining moment in the evolution of systems of international accountability for serious human rights violations. In particular, the US response to the killing is being shaped (or, from the perspective of President Trump, perhaps dictated) …

Special Rapporteur calls on the UN to recognize the universal right to a healthy environment

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Universal Rights Group NYC

Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, David R. Boyd, made a historic push at the UN General Assembly for the human right to a healthy environment to be recognised at the global level. During his landmark address at the GA’s Third Committee, Boyd argued, firstly, that official UN recognition of the human right to a healthy environment would bolster and enhance work already underway …

High Commissioner speaks on human rights, resilience and prevention

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Newly appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, gave a statement at a High-Level Event during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, marking the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “A Prevention Tool to Achieve Peace and Sustainable Development.” She said: “Human rights are the interlocking elements that build resilient and confident societies – societies …

How UN Treaty Bodies can better address corruption and its negative impact on human rights

by Patrick Mutzenberg, Director of the Centre for Civil and Political Rights. Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

It is now widely recognised that corruption negatively affects the enjoyment of civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. Corruption not only has a negative impact on the ability of States to implement their treaty-based human rights obligations, but it also directly affects the population of such countries. This concern was raised several times by …

Time for a ‘Universal Magnitsky Act’?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Mary Grace Carey, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

In 2009, Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after investigating a $230 million tax fraud involving Russian officials. A subsequent investigation into his case by the Kremlin’s own human rights commission, ordered and endorsed (in July 2011) by the-then Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, found that in order to silence Magnitsky, corrupt officials had accused him of …

It is time for the United Nations to recognise the human right to a healthy environment

by Professor John H. Knox, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Earlier this month, on World Environment Day, the Executive Director of UN Environment, Erik Solheim, and I jointly stated that the historic moment has arrived for the United Nations to recognise the human right to a healthy environment at the global level. The fundamental UN human rights treaties do not include this right because the modern environmental movement began in the late 1960s, …

Anti-corruption and human rights

by Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 1 May this year, MPs from across the major UK political parties, agreed in the UK Parliament to support a ‘Magnitsky’ amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. The amendment was adopted without a vote and was described by the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as “an important moment” that would “allow the UK to act against those responsible …

It’s time we all recognise the human right to a healthy environment

by Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Note: This article is based on a Joint Statement by UN Environment and the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment ahead of World Environment Day.   Speaking ahead of World Environment Day on 5 June, the head of UN Environment, Mr Erik Solheim, and the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Mr John Knox, issued a …

2018: an important year for human rights and climate change

by Geneva Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Cet article est également disponible en français . The idea that climate change undermines and may contribute to the violation of human rights, and that human rights obligations and principles can guide improved international and national climate change policy by focusing attention on the needs of the most vulnerable, is now well established. Yet it was not always so. Back in …