Clean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal right: UN Human Rights Council

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What is the News?

The United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) has unanimously voted for recognising a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a universal right.

What is the Right to Clean the Environment?

The idea of the Right to a clean environment is rooted in the “1972 Stockholm Declaration”.

The right brings together the environmental dimensions of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights, and protects the core elements of the natural environment that enable a life of dignity.

Is the Right to Clean Environment adopted by UNHRC legally binding?

The Right is not legally binding, but it has the potential to shape global standards.

The resolution emphasises on the rights to life, liberty and security of human rights defenders working in environmental matters referred to as environmental human rights defenders.

What is the need for this recognition?

Environmental defenders across the globe are subject to constant physical attacks, detentions, arrests, legal action and smear campaigns. Some 200 environmental defenders have been murdered in 2020 alone.

Special rapporteur

The UNHRC has also passed another resolution creating a three-year post of a special rapporteur.

The special rapporteur will monitor how the adverse effects of climate change, including sudden and slow-onset disasters, affect the full and effective enjoyment of human rights.

Source: This post is based on the articleClean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal right: UN Human Rights Councilpublished in ‘Down To Earth’ on 10th October 2021. 

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