resource portal for environmental human rights defenders
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Environmental human rights defenders: working at the interface of environmental protection and human rights
Discover how to access local networks and international support
WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
Environmental harm can violate many human rights, including rights to life, health, food, water, and housing. To protect the environment and the human rights that depend on it, everyone has the following rights:
To seek, receive, and impart environmental information.
To participate in public decision-making about environmental matters.
To effective legal remedies for violations of these rights.
WHO CAN HELP ME?
A range of international organisations, bodies and mechanisms, and non-governmental organisations, exist to protect the rights and support the work of EHRDs. Some of these touch upon certain aspects of the work of EHRDs, while others are dedicated to supporting HRDs in general and/or EHRDs in particular.
HOW CAN I ACCESS INTERNATIONAL HELP?
The UN human rights protection system affords the victims of human rights violations the opportunity to petition it to help secure remedy and redress. Individual petitions (sometimes called ‘communications’ or ‘individual complaints’) can be sent to either the Special Procedures system (e.g. UN Special Rapporteurs) or the Treaty Body system.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
Over recent years, a number of NGOs and UN Special Rapporteurs have produced important analyses and surveys of the situation of EHRDs around the world. Some have also provided recommendations to governments and other stakeholders as to how they might improve that situation in the future.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Around the world, those who defend the enviroment and the human rights that depend on it face all types of obstacles, challenges and threats (click here to read more about this). Overcoming adversity, environmental human rights defenders have been working to change the lifes of many.
Every year since 2015, the world has experienced a tragic new record: namely increasing numbers of attacks against and killings of individuals working alone or as part of a community or NGO, to protect their natural environment, and the human rights that depend upon that environment, from harm (harm often inflicted by government representatives and businesses in the context of ‘development’ projects). On average, more than three activists were killed every week, whilst many more have been threatened, attacked, disappeared or jailed for taking a stand.