New Research on the Right to a Healthy Environment

22 March 2022

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.

Encouraging States to Prioritize Implementation through Legislation, Policy and Resource Allocation

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.

Kibera slum, Nairobi

A Larger Focus on Sustainable Development

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.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Group photo of participants to the pilot review News

Successful Final UN Human Rights Treaty Body Pilot Took Place in Fiji

18 December 2023

In November, our Geneva Human Rights Platform – in partnership with the Pacific Community and the Commonwealth Secretariat – conducted its third and final UN human rights treaty body follow-up review pilot in Nadi, Fiji.

Read more

A person with a portable brain scanner News

New Paper Sets the Scene for Neurotechnology Regulation and the Role of Human Rights

4 December 2023

Our new Research Brief The Evolving Neurotechnology Landscape: Examining the Role and Importance of Human Rights in Regulation provides a comprehensive background analysis on the complexities of regulating neurotechnology and the role of human rights in this process and marks the inception of our research project on neurotechnology and human rights.

Read more

Open dump Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

2-20 September 2024

Participants in this training course, made of two modules, will examine the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights and the environment, familiarizing themselves with the respective implementation and enforcement mechanisms.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

25 April - 17 May 2024

This online short course 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.

Read more

George Floyd protest in Washington D.C. Project

Promoting and Protecting the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association and Civic Space Worldwide

Started in June 2020

This project aims at providing support to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association Clément Voulé by addressing emerging issues affecting civic space and eveloping tools and materials allowing various stakeholders to promote and defend civic space.

Read more

Flyer presenting the Geneva Human Rights Platform with other publications of the Geneva Academy on display Project

GHRP Briefings

Started in January 2019

The GHRP Briefings provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss the results of the United Nations (UN) Treaty Body (TB) 2020 Review and practical ways to implement change.

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Unpacking the Burgeoning Challenge of Environmental Protection and the Right to Food in the Context of Armed Conflict

published on April 2024

Erica Harper, Junli Lim

Read more