Understanding the Relationship between Conflict, Security and the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

Started in May 2023

Context

Last year, in a landmark resolution, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly recognized the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This development sat in parallel with a growing consensus that environmental rights abrogation can drive conflict and threaten peace and security.

Such evidence has evolved rapidly. Food and water insecurity for example have a particularly strong causal relationship with diminutions in safety and security and conflict protraction. Protection against climate change, environmental good governance and the promotion of the right to a healthy environment should thus be seen both as a tool of conflict prevention and key to conflict resolution and non-recidivism. Such causal relationships, however, have not been sufficiently integrated into multilateral policy debates and decision-making processes.

Objective

This project will develop guidance to inform security, human rights and environmental debates on the linkages between environmental rights and conflict, and how their better management can serve as a tool in conflict prevention, resilience and early warning.

Homing in on six country hotspots for environmental conflict spillovers, we will also identify entry points for engaging at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council, as well as strategies to overcome challenges to policy uptake.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Yemeni women live in the open after being displaced from their homes due to the war in Taiz News

New Publication Unpacks UN Human Rights Council's Potential Role in Preventing Climate-Induced Conflicts

29 January 2024

Our new Research Brief explores the potential role of the UN Human Rights Council as an actor in the prevention of climate-related conflicts, alongside other multilateral efforts within the UN system.

Read more >

UN Security Council holds meeting on Somalia - 21 November 2019 News

New Research Brief Offers a Roadmap for Security Council Members to Engage on Climate-Driven Security Risks

2 June 2023

Our new Research Brief Climate Change in the Security Council: Obstacles, Opportunities, and Options identifies entry points for engaging on environmental and climate security issues at the UN Security Council.

Read more >

Publications

Cover Page of Research Brief

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover page of the research brief

Climate Change in the Security Council: Obstacles, Opportunities, and Options

May 2023

Erica Harper, Adam Day

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the United Nations University

Download >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

View of participants in the training course on UN human rights system News

Geneva Human Rights Platform Expands Training Hub with New Courses in 2023

18 September 2023

The GHRP introduced two innovative courses to enhance its Training Hub offerings, which delved into the realm of international human rights standards and system and into business and human rights.

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Yemen,  Taiz, Salah district. A destroyed building. News

Mastering International Law in Armed Conflict: Explore our Online Short Courses

8 September 2023

For the 2023–2024 academic year, we offer 16 online short courses covering legal issues and topics relevant to armed conflicts.

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Event

The Recovery Channel

13 March 2024, 18:30-21:30

This one-night-only film screening of The Recovery Channel will dissect this intersection and address the human rights violations witnessed in today's mental health care system and practices.

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UNRWA school in Gaza Event

Gaza and the Battle for Humanity: How International Law Provides Meaning to Violence

6 March 2024, 18:00-20:00

At this event co-hosted by our Geneva Human Rights Platform, several UN experts will provide their perspective on what is at stake when framing the ongoing spectacular and slow violence against Palestinians in Gaza. 

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Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

25 April - 17 May 2024

This online short course discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

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Garment workersto receive food from their factory during lunch time. This food is freely provided by their factory in order to ensure that workers eat healthy and hygienic food. Training

Business and Human Rights

2-6 September 2024

This training course will examine how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have been utilized to advance the concept of business respect for human rights throughout the UN system, the impact of the Guiding Principles on other international organizations, as well as the impact of standards and guidance developed by these different bodies.

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A destroyed camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Khor Abeche, South Darfur, Project

Understanding the Relationship between Conflict, Security and the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

Started in May 2023

This project will develop guidance to inform security, human rights and environmental debates on the linkages between environmental rights and conflict, and how their better management can serve as a tool in conflict prevention, resilience and early warning.

Read more

Computer screen with warning: civilian infrastucture: do not attack Project

The Digitalization of Armed Conflict

Started in September 2020

This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.

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Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

published on January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

Read more

Cover page of the Research Brief Publication

The Evolving Neurotechnology Landscape: Examining the Role and Importance of Human Rights in Regulation

published on December 2023

Erica Harper

Read more