In recent years, the interlinkages between the natural environment and human rights on the one hand, and environment and armed conflict on the other, have been regularly addressed. The recently adopted Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment rely on the fact that human rights are intertwined with the environment in which people live and, subsequently, environmental damage interferes with the enjoyment of human rights, such as the right to livelihood, right to health, right to food, right to water, right to private and family life, and the recently recognized right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, among others.
The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, in collaboration with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, organized a panel event to examine how the environmental effects that occur, both during and after an armed conflict, carry the potential to pose a serious threat to the livelihoods and even the existence of individual human beings and communities. Unlike many of the other consequences of armed conflict, environmental damage can be long-term and irreparable, which can in varying degrees prevent the effective rebuilding of society. It is therefore of paramount importance to place the human rights of people that live in the affected communities at the center of the debate on the interlinkages between armed conflict and the environment.
The book discusses the role of governments, international organizations, and civil society in adopting preventive measures, to strengthen environmental protection, address the resulting human rights gaps, and empower local communities, in particular vulnerable groups, to be active contributors in post-conflict rebuilding and reconstruction efforts. In the publication, experts and academics explore the normative and legal frameworks that guide and help address the threat posed by armed conflicts on the environment and human rights, and share experiences from the field on the widespread patterns of environmental degradation caused by armed conflicts, that result in adverse implications for the enjoyment of human rights.
The publication contains a summary of the eight panel presentations, the Q & A session, the full statements of the panellists and a lessons learned and looking forward chapter.
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Year of publication: 2022
Cover photo credits: Expert Infantry