Link between protecting the environment and human rights asserted by UN Expert Knox (re-issued with working links and references to case law)

March 11, 2013

What is apparent from this blog, which has featured many cases of environmental Human Rights Defenders, has now been clearly stated (on 7 March 2013) by the United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and environment, John Knox. In his report to the Council of Human Rights, he highlighted the urgent need to clarify the human rights obligations linked to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Such clarification, he said, “is necessary in order for States and others to better understand what those obligations require and ensure that they are fully met, at every level from the local to the global.”……………….In his report Mr. Knox also identifies rights whose implementation is vital to environmental policymaking, such as the rights to freedom of expression and association, rights to receive information and participate in decision-making processes, and rights to legal remedies. “The exercise of these rights, makes environmental policies more transparent, better informed and more responsive to those most concerned.” “States should recognize the important work carried out by human rights defenders working on land and environmental issues in trying to find a balance between economic development and environmental protection, should not tolerate their stigmatization and should ensure prompt and impartial investigations into alleged violations of their rights,” he said.

John Knox was appointed as the Independent Expert on human rights and the environment in July 2012 by the United Nations Human Rights Council.humanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen

Learn more: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13089&LangID=E

Knox’s full report: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A-HRC-22-43_en.pdf 

via Link between protecting the environment and human rights | Scoop News.

I would also like to refer now to an article by Lauri R. Tanner  in the Oxford Press Journal of Human Rights Practice on the landmark environmental defenders cases by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: the milestone case of ‘Kawas v. Honduras‘ and the so-called ‘Mexican Ecologists case‘. In its first-ever ruling on environmental defenders, the Court found a positive obligation on the part of member states in the Hemisphere to protect environmentalists who are in serious jeopardy from human rights violations. The Kawas case is a paradigmatic example of the constant threats these activists encounter, both in the Americas and internationally, and states in the region are now on notice to ensure special protection to those most in danger of harm. The Court arrived at the remarkable juncture of ‘making visible and potentially punishable what heretofore has been invisible and unpunished’. In an epilogue Tanner addresses the subsequent ruling in the ‘Mexican Ecologists’ case, and offers recommendations to human rights and environmental defenders and practitioners both regionally and internationally.

PDF to download:
http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/hur020?ijkey=TmPlvBcvZYHLh18&keytype=ref

Full Text online:
http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/hur020?ijkey=TmPlvBcvZYHLh18&keytype=ref

6 Responses to “Link between protecting the environment and human rights asserted by UN Expert Knox (re-issued with working links and references to case law)”

  1. laurirose Says:

    Link above isn’t working for me..
    Here’s working link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13089&LangID=E

    And link to Knox’s full report:
    http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A-HRC-22-43_en.pdf

    Thanks much for your great blog, Hans..

  2. laurirose Says:

    PS. Not sure if you’ve seen my Oxford Press Journal of Human Rights Practice article on the landmark environmental defenders cases:

    PDF to download:
    http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/hur020?ijkey=TmPlvBcvZYHLh18&keytype=ref

    Full Text online:
    http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/hur020?ijkey=TmPlvBcvZYHLh18&keytype=ref

    Would be very interested in your comments.
    Feel free to contact me at:
    environmentaldefenders at gmail dot com

    • Hans Thoolen Says:

      Dear Lauri,

      thanks for this excellent material. When rectifying the links I added a paragraph referring to the article – I hope that it is OK. thanks Hans

      • laurirose Says:

        Thank you, Hans. Of course I am very pleased that you have chosen to highlight and incorporate my article on the environmentalists cases.

        Could you please follow me on twitter @EnviroDefenders so that we can exchange some DMs and follow up about my work in this area?
        (or just at my email above…)

        Saludos, Lauri


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