New Research on the Right to a Healthy Environment

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

Smartphone screen News

Aligning Regulations of Business Conduct in the Technology Sector with Human Rights

29 April 2022

A new Research Brief on Regulating Business Conduct in the Technology Sector: Gaps and Ways Forward in Applying the UNGPs depicts the prominent gaps in regulatory approaches to business conduct in the technology sector with regard to the UNGPs.

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A session of the training course News

Implementing the UPR Recommendations in Syria: A Training Course for the UN Country Team

21 June 2022

Our Geneva Human Rights Platform organized – along with the Syria Offices of UNFPA, UNDP and OHCHR – a customized training course for UN staff in Syria.

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Event

2022 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

18 October 2022, 09:00-19:00

The 2022 Annual Conference will focus on digital connectivity in the field of human rights. This includes a view of the digital connections by and among mechanisms within the human rights system, but also the substantive impacts of digitalization.

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Persons walking in front of a blue wall Event

Strike While It's Hot: Protecting and Advancing Human Rights Online

4 October 2022, 13:15-14:45

This side event at the margins of the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council will discuss areas of progress as well as critical gaps in the international affirmation and protection of human rights in the digital age.

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A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

14-18 November 2022

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

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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

27 April - 8 June 2023

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.

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View of a session of the UN Human Rights Council Project

Human Rights Conversations

Started in January 2020

A series of events aimed at discussing contemporary issues and challenges related to the promotion and protection of human rights in Geneva and beyond.

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Human Rights Commission, VCalparaiso, Chile Project

The Role of National Human Rights Systems in the Implementation of International Human Rights Standards and Recommendations

Completed in March 2020

This project analysed the role of national human rights systems (NHRSs) in implementing international human rights standards and recommendations.

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Cover page of the book Publication

Research Handbook on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

published on September 2022

Gloria Gaggioli, Robert Kolb, Pavle Kilibarda

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Cover page of the book Publication

Agricultural Commercialization, Gender Equality and the Right to Food

published on September 2022

Christophe Golay, Joanna Bourke Martignoni, Christophe Gironde, Elisabeth Prügl, Dzodzi Tsikata

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