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Side Event on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations

On March 11, the Independent Expert spoke at a Side Event on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations in Geneva.  He addressed human rights abuses and environmental harm caused by transnational corporations, and the relevant international legal framework.

Read the entire statement here: Transnational Corporations and Environmental Harm Side Event

The Independent Expert’s Report to the Human Rights Council

On March 11, the Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, John Knox, made a statement to the Human Rights Council presenting his mapping report and the report on his visit to Costa Rica, and also described his plans for the upcoming year of the mandate.

Read the entire statement here: Human Rights Obligations to Protect the Environment.

Annual Report to the Human Rights Council

On March 11, the Independent Expert will present his annual report to the Human Rights Council. The report maps human rights obligations relating to the environment, on the basis of an extensive review of global and regional sources. The Independent Expert describes procedural obligations of States to assess environmental impacts on human rights and to make environmental information public, to facilitate participation in environmental decision-making, and to provide access to remedies for environmental harm. He describes States’ substantive obligations to adopt legal and institutional frameworks that protect against environmental harm that interferes with the enjoyment of human rights, including harm caused by private actors. Finally, he outlines obligations relating to the protection of members of groups in vulnerable situations, including women, children and indigenous peoples. Continue reading »

Individual Mapping Reports on Human Rights and the Environment

Over the last year, the Independent Expert has overseen a research project to map the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The conclusions of the project are presented in the report to the Human Rights Council presented on 10 March 2014. The details of the research are contained in a series of 14 reports, each of which describes the relevant statements of a particular source or set of sources, including UN human rights treaty bodies, other UN bodies and mechanisms such as the Human Rights Council and its special rapporteurs, regional human rights systems, and international environmental instruments. To see those reports, click on the link. Continue reading »

Yale Conference on Human Rights and Environmental Sustainability

Yale University, together with UNITAR and other partners, is holding a conference September 5-7 on the relationship of human rights and environmental sustainability. The Call for Abstracts is at the link. Note that the deadline for abstracts is April 1! Continue reading »

February 2014 Newsletter

This newsletter describes the work of the Independent Expert during the start of the new year.  The newsletter begins by discussing the annual report to the Human Rights Council in March of 2014 in Geneva.  It describes the final product of the mapping project, the mapping report.  The newsletter also addresses the ongoing work on identifying good practices in the use of such obligations.  Read the full newsletter here.

December 2013 Newsletter

This newsletter describes the recent actions of the Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, including statements to meetings in Boston, Copenhagen, and Lima.  The newsletter also outlines future consultations in South Africa and Thailand.

Read the entire newsletter here: December 2013 Newsletter.

The Human Rights Basis for the Environmental Pillar of Sustainable Development

On 12 December 2013, John Knox spoke at a Side Event at the sixth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development. He spoke about the interconnectedness of the three pillars of sustainable development – economic development, social justice and environmental protection – and the respect for human rights, focusing on the third pillar, environmental protection. See “The Human Rights Basis for the Environmental Pillar”

Access Rights as Human Rights

John Knox, Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, spoke on 31 October 2013 to the 3rd Meeting of the Focal Points Appointed by the Governments of the Signatory Countries of the Declaration on the Application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in Lima, Peru, about the relationship of human rights law to the access rights set out in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. Continue reading »

Human Rights and the Environment: Carrying the Conversation Forward – ASEM Seminar on Human Rights

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Independent Expert John Knox served as a keynote speaker at the Asia-Europe Meeting on Human Rights and Environment, in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 October 2013. He spoke about the benefits of a human rights approach to environmental protection. Knox acknowledged that human rights and environmental issues have historically been discussed in separation from one another, but stressed that this is quickly changing. See “Human Rights and the Environment: Carrying the Conversation Forward – ASEM Seminar on Human Rights”