Statement to Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Environmental Human Rights Obligations

Representatives from 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries launched a regional agreement to implement Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, which promotes access to information, participation, and justice in environmental matters. On November 6, John Knox addressed a meeting of these delegates. He stated that while environmental degradation threatens various human rights, a new regional agreement in Latin America and the Caribbean can contribute to the ongoing development of human rights in an environmental context. Based on an extensive study of laws relating to human rights and the environment, the Independent Expert described the three principal elements of States' environmental human rights obligations. "First, the sources [of the study] agree that human rights law imposes procedural obligations on States in relation to environmental protection. Second, they have set out minimum substantive standards. Third, they have identified duties  relating to vulnerable groups." Read the press release here.