A Clean & Healthy Environment: The Barriers & Limitations of This Emerging Human Right

Erin Eacott

Abstract


A human right to a healthy environment needs to be advocated by states, non-government organisations and the public. It can be argued that a human right to a healthy environment has slowly been emerging in international law over the past 20 years, but whether this right will ever become solidified in international law is not yet clear. A human right to a healthy environment needs to be advocated because it is an essential prerequisite to the fulfillment of many fundamental human rights, such as the rights to life, culture, liberty and security of the person, and an adequate standard of living. Furthermore, a human right to a healthy environment could be used as an umbrella over sustainable development in order to strengthen its effectiveness. While the implementation o f such a broad right to a healthy environment faces a number of barriers, none of these barriers necessarily prohibit the establishment or effectiveness of the right.


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