UN expert calls for right to healthy environment

UN expert calls for right to healthy environment

The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment [official website] called [press release] on the international community Monday to recognize that people have the right to a healthy environment.

John Knox presented a report [text, PDF] on the framework principles of “human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment” to the Human Rights Council. Knox said that human rights and the environment are interdependent. He said, “[a] healthy environment is necessary for the full enjoyment of many human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and development. At the same time, the exercise of other freedoms, including the rights to information, participation and remedy, is vital to the protection of the environment.”

Knox has called on the Human Rights Council to formally recognize the human right to a healthy environment, as is recognized by regional agreements and national constitutions.