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call for input | Special Procedures

Promoting Environmental Democracy: Procedural elements of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment

Deadline

02 October 2023

Purpose: To inform the entity’s report on the implementation of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment which will be presented at 55th session of the Human Rights Council.
Background

Promoting Environmental Democracy: Procedural elements of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment

The Special Rapporteur has completed a series of six thematic reports on the substantive elements of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, including clean air, safe and sufficient water, healthy and sustainably produced food, non-toxic environments, healthy ecosystems and biodiversity and a safe, livable climate. He would like to seek inputs on the procedural or participatory elements of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, including access to information, public participation and access to justice with effective remedies. In light of the Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment, the report will also address related topics including the rights to environmental education, freedom of expression and association, and safe spaces for environmental human rights defenders. The Special Rapporteur is seeking inputs on the topic from States, rightsholders and stakeholders through responses to the questions below.

Your replies will inform the Special Rapporteur’s analysis and contribute to a report, which will be presented at the 55th session of the Human Rights Council.

Questions

The Special Rapporteur invites and welcomes your answers to the following questions:

  1. What are States’ obligations—and businesses’ responsibilities—related to the rights to access information, public participation and access to justice with effective remedies in environmental matters? What are the major barriers to the full enjoyment of these rights? How can these barriers be overcome?
  2. What are States’ obligations related to the right to environmental education, and the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association in environmental contexts? What are the major barriers to the full enjoyment of these rights? How can these barriers be overcome?
  3. What can States and businesses do to ensure the safety of environmental human rights defenders?
  4. Please specify ways that the rights to environmental education, access to information, public participation and access to justice with effective remedies, freedom of expression and freedom of association can be fulfilled for populations who may be particularly vulnerable to climate and environmental harms (e.g. women, children, persons living in poverty, Indigenous Peoples and traditional communities, older persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic, racial or other minorities and displaced persons).
  5. To what extent have the two regional treaties on environmental democracy—the Aarhus Convention and the Escazu agreement—been effective in advancing human rights related to access to information, public participation, access to justice with effective remedies, environmental education, freedom of expression and association, and safe spaces for environmental human rights defenders?
  6. Please provide examples of good practices related to access to information, public participation, access to justice with effective remedies, environmental education, freedom of expression and association, and safe spaces for environmental human rights defenders.
How inputs will be used

Your replies will inform the Special Rapporteur’s analysis and contribute to a report which will be presented at the 55th session of the Human Rights Council.

Download the questionnaire (WORD):
English | Français | Español

Next Steps

Please send your responses to the questionnaire in Word format by email to [email protected].

However, submissions will also be accepted via regular mail at the following address:
UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division
UNOG-OHCHR
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

We kindly request that your submission be concise and limited to a maximum of 5 pages (or 2,000 words) and welcome the inclusion of links to online documents.

Due to a limited capacity for translation, we also request that your inputs be submitted in English, French, or Spanish.

To avoid unnecessary duplication: if you have recently replied to other questionnaires from UN human rights mechanisms (or other international bodies) with information that would be relevant to this request as well, we welcome your directing us to those replies.

The deadline for submission is 2 October 2023 (deadline extended)

All submissions will be made publicly available and posted on the Special Rapporteur’s homepage at the OHCHR website