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UN Resolution on Human Rights and Climate Change

On June 23, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on human rights and climate change. Among other things, the resolution requests that Human Rights Council mandate holders give special consideration to human rights and climate change within the context of their individual mandates. Continue reading »

May 2014 Newsletter

The seventh newsletter from the Independent Expert describes mandate activities since February. The newsletter sheds some light on the  dangerous work done by environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs). Global Witness published a study that found the risk to EHRDs is growing. (more…)

The Emerging Law of Environmental Human Rights is Clearer Than Ever Before

In March 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted an important, far-reaching resolution on human rights and the environment.  The resolution is available here.  For a description of the resolution, see this article by John Knox at the Universal Rights Group website.

 

 

Global Witness Releases Report on the Deaths of Environmental Human Rights Defenders

Global Witness has published a highly important report on the threats faced by environmental human rights defenders – those who peacefully advocate for the protection of human rights to the environment and land.  The non-profit organization found 908 documented murders of environmental and land defenders from 2002 through 2013, an average of one every week.

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Costa Rica Country Report

The Independent Expert visited Costa Rica from 28 July to 1 August 2013.  During the visit, Professor Knox looked at how Costa Rica was implementing human rights related to the environment, identified good practices, and examined the challenges related to human rights and the environment.  Read the full report here.

 

UNEP Releases Compendium on Human Rights and the Environment

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a new report that provides a comprehensive, detailed compendium of materials and cases on human rights and the environment. (more…)

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 »