#TheTimeIsNow: Was HRC46 the moment that momentum behind UN recognition of the right to a healthy environment became unstoppable?

by Mariana Montoya and Camila Márquez Blog, Blog

The growing interest in, and movement towards, universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment (R2E) reached a new crescendo at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council (Council). There was a sense that momentum behind UN recognition, built over decades, has brought the world to a ‘tipping point,’ where one last push …

#The time is now – The case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment

by Professor John H. Knox, former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and David R. Boyd - UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Policy reports, Reportes

#The time is now – The case for universal recognition of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment

This new policy report tells the story of international discussions on human rights and environment, human rights and climate change, and the push for the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment (R2E), describing the broad normative contours of such a right, and explaining the benefits, for humanity, the environment and the climate, that would accrue from universal recognition. …

The Escazú Agreement: A landmark regional treaty for environmental defenders

by Zaineb Ali, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The international community eagerly awaits the Escazú Agreement to come into force in early 2021 after having secured 12 ratifications (one more than the minimum required – 11). The Escazú Agreement , which emerged from the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), is the first legally binding instrument in the world to include provisions on environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) …

The right to a healthy environment gives rise to a growing wave of climate change litigation

by Renata Politi, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

In an amicus curiae brief submitted in the Norwegian Artic Oil case currently pending before the Norwegian Supreme Court, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment , David R. Boyd, and UN Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes , Marcos A Orellana, argued that “the justiciability of the right to a healthy environment empowers citizens and civil society, strengthening democratic decision-making and fostering accountability for political decisions. Access to justice is itself a fundamental human right, including in the …

Report on the 45th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 45th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC45) was held from Monday 14th September to Wednesday 7th October 2020. On 14th September, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, presented her oral update on the global human rights situation. In the wake of the violent response by the Belarusian authorities to peaceful demonstrations that occurred in the aftermath of President …

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

by Professor John H. Knox, former 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, …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2018?

by the URG team Blog, Blog

An independent analysis of the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council At the opening of the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, nearly one hundred world leaders (e.g. presidents, prime ministers, and  ministers) delivered high level speeches commenting on the state of global human rights in 2018, and presenting their country’s priorities for the year ahead. The Universal …

Time to act – recognising the right to a healthy environment

by Marcos A. Orellana, Director of the Environment and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch and Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Global recognition of the right to a healthy environment is long overdue. There are opportunities emerging to do so, and this would give crucial support to threatened environmental activists. In March 2016, armed intruders battered down the door of the house where Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres, 44, was staying and killed her. By then, Cáceres, co-founder of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, …

Latin American defenders share experiences and gain safety net

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

Currently, Latin America is the most deadly region in the world to be an environmental defender. IUCN NL and other partners recently held a  meeting  in Bogota, Colombia, centered on improving the safety of these defenders. Attendee and IUCN NL Environmental Justice Expert, Liliana Jauregui, learnt that we need to take action on three levels; Protection mechanisms on the ground, sharing …