Over the last year, the Independent Expert has overseen an extensive 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 11 March 2014. The report 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. It also 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, it outlines obligations relating to the protection of members of groups in vulnerable situations, including women, children and indigenous peoples.
The report is available here: Annual Report to the Human Rights Council
The details of the research are contained in the following 14 reports, each of which describes the relevant statements of a particular source or set of sources. The sources include 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.
1. Individual Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
2. Individual Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
3. Individual Report on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
4. Individual Report on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
5. Individual Report on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
6. Individual Report on the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, including the Universal Periodic Review Process
7. Individual Report on the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council
8. Individual Report on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
9. Individual Report on Global and Regional Environmental Agreements
10. Individual Report on Non-Binding International Environmental Instruments
11. Individual Report on the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision–Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention)
12. Individual Report on the Asia-Pacific, Arab and African Regions as well as the European Social Charter
13. Individual Report on the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
14. Individual Report on the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union
A separate report on Climate Change and Human Rights compiles the statements on climate change that are contained in each of the 14 reports listed above.