Mapping Report

This report contains all the statements made by important sources on the human rights obligations relating to the environment.

Background

The Human Rights Council, in its resolution 19/10, requested the Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, Mr. John Knox, to study the human rights obligations, including non-discrimination obligations, relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Pursuant to this request, the Independent Expert undertook an extensive research project to map the statements made by important sources on the human rights obligations relating to the environment.

The result was 14 individual reports, each of which describes statements made by a particular source or set of sources. The reports fall into four categories: (a) global human rights treaties and their application by treaty bodies; (b) United Nations human rights bodies and mechanisms, including the Human Rights Council and its special procedure mandate holders; (c) regional human rights systems; and (d) international environmental instruments.

Key Findings

The Independent Expert summarized the findings in his mapping report to the Human Rights Council at its 25th session in March 2014. The mapping report shows that human rights obligations relating to the environment, according to the sources reviewed, include:

  1. Procedural obligations of States to assess environmental impacts on human rights and to make environmental information public, to facilitate participation in decision-making, and to provide access to remedies for harm;
  2. Substantive obligations of States to adopt legal and institutional frameworks that protect against environmental harm that interferes with the enjoyment of human rights, including harm caused by private actors; and
  3. Non-discrimination and other obligations of States relating to the protection of members of groups in vulnerable situations, including women, children and indigenous peoples.

Read the Mapping Report (A/HRC/25/53), available in all 6 UN languages.

The 14 individual reports are available in English:

  1. Individual Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  2. Individual Report on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  3. Individual Report on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  4. Individual Report on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
  5. Individual Report on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  6. Individual Report on the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, including the Universal Periodic Review Process
  7. Individual Report on the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council
  8. Individual Report on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  9. Individual Report on Global and Regional Environmental Agreements
  10. Individual Report on Non-Binding International Environmental Instruments
  11. Individual Report on the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision–Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention)
  12. Individual Report on the Asia-Pacific, Arab and African Regions as well as the European Social Charter
  13. Individual Report on the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  14. Individual Report on the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union

Mr. Knox also prepared a separate report focused on Climate Change and Human Rights (2014) based on the 14 reports listed above.



Special Procedures
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
Recent Thematic Reports
Contact Information

Mr. David R. Boyd
Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
Palais des Nations, 8-14, Avenue de la Paix. 1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
+41 22 917 9159
srenvironment@ohchr.org
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