Global environmental challenges – climate change, food insecurity or lack of access to water, land or raw materials – are on the rise. Besides their major impact on stability and security worldwide, they are also leading to displacement, human rights violations and conflict.
Building on the recent recognition by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, our new research aims at mainstreaming this right and the protection it affords in the work of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and Geneva-based human rights mechanisms – UN treaty bodies, the HRC, its Special Procedures and Universal Periodic Review.
UN human rights mechanisms and the UN General Assembly play a crucial role in devising concrete avenues and recommendations for implementing the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, notably at the national level.
‘This mainstreaming will notably encourage states to prioritize the implementation of this right through legislation, policy and resource allocation. It will also potentially provide access to justice and remedies for those who suffer from the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change’ explains Dr Christophe Golay, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy.
‘It is important to build on this momentum and work for ensuring implementation, notably by providing relevant stakeholders – states, UN human rights mechanisms and oversight mechanisms of multilateral environmental agreements – with the scientific-based evidence to guide their work in integrating and better protecting the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This is precisely what we will do with this project’ underlines Dr Megan Donald, Associate Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
This project forms part of our research cluster on sustainable development that aims to explore the linkages between sustainable development, the protection of the environment, climate change and the branches of international law that protect the rights of the most vulnerable. It also complements our training course on protecting human rights and the environment.
While applications with a scholarship for our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law just closed, interested candidates can still apply until 25 February without a scholarship.
Christian Lue, Unplash
As the EU is revising its legislation on seed marketing, the Geneva Academy is inputting this process to ensure that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and its article 19 on the right to seeds are taken into account.
IsaaK Alexandre KaRslian, Unsplash
This event aims at raising international awareness on the human rights situation of women and girls in Afghanistan and propose recommendations for effective action by the international community.
This event marks the official launch of the updated Istanbul Protocol, with Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with representatives of the core UN anti-torture mechanisms and other international human rights bodies.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.
Dustan Woodhouse, Unplash
This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.
This project examined how IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the UN Charter, as well as from universal and regional treaties.
NYU Stern BH
This project aims at supporting the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights' project for the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.