Information

1-5 July 2019
Application start 29 November 2018
Application end 17 June 2019
Application end / With visa 20 May 2019
Fee: 1530 Swiss Francs

Downloads

Flyer >

The Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

Versova Beach, Mumbai, India Versova Beach, Mumbai, India

Addressing One of the Most Pressing Issues in Contemporary International Law

Can we promote environmental protection through existing human rights (HR) mechanisms? What protection does international law afford to ‘climate refugees’? What are the synergies and tensions between the legal protection of HR and the environment?

From the contamination of water bodies to the effects of climate change, the impact of environmental degradation on human life is one of the most pressing issues in contemporary international law.

This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of HR and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing HR mechanisms.

Focus on Plastic Pollution

This 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.

Course attendants will participate in a week-long exercise discussing the impacts of plastic pollution on the marine environment and human health, the responsibilities of states and businesses, vulnerable actors and environmental justice, and mechanisms at national and international levels to address actual and potential human rights violations.

Programme

The training course covers the following issues:

  • The main international HR and environmental law instruments and mechanisms and the nature of state obligations under the two legal regimes
  • Rights to information and participation in environment-related decision-making and the mandate of the Aarhus Compliance Committee
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • The rights of indigenous peoples, traditional local communities and environmental migrants
  • The protection of human rights and environmental defenders
  • The HR dimension of climate change, land, water, and biodiversity degradation
  • Strategies to use international HR mechanisms to litigate and advocate for environmental protection
  • A visit to the Human Rights Council and the Aarhus Compliance Committee session.

Benefits

At the end of this course, participants will be:

  • Familiar with the major international legal instruments for the promotion of HR and the conservation of the environment (e.g. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on Biological Diversity and Protocols, Aarhus Convention, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNESCO World Heritage Convention
  • Knowledgeable about the different UN mechanisms mandated to protect and promote human rights and the conservation of the environment, and how the agendas of the specialized agencies intersect
  • Conversant with the role of civil society, national and international environmental and HR institutions, governments and non-state actors in relation to the protection of human rights and the environment
  • Able to identify and effectively describe synergies and tensions in the realization of HR and the protection of the environment, to re-think their advocacy plans and devise new strategies for making better use of the UN HR mechanisms
  • Able to address, via a rights-based approach, specific environmental challenges related to plastic pollution and its impact on human life.

Lecturers

Lecturers include Geneva Academy experts, renowned academic scholars, as well as senior professionals from international organizations and NGOs.

Methodology

The course is interactive and participants are encouraged to share their own experiences and visions on the subject. The training sessions include lectures and expert panels, as well as practical examples and case studies. It also includes a week-long exercise on plastic pollution, in which different human rights challenges will be addressed. Sessions are designed to enhance knowledge exchange with peers and facilitators.

Audience

This training course is designed for staff of NGOs, business companies and research centres, national environmental and HR institutions, UN bodies and other international organizations, as well as representatives of governments and members of academia.

Certification

Participants who successfully complete the training course receive a certificate of participation from the Geneva Academy.

Fee

The training fee for this five-day programme is 1,530 Swiss Francs (30 percent discount for PhD and master students). It includes tuition costs, course materials, lunch and refreshments during coffee breaks.

It is payable as soon as your place has been confirmed. As places on the training course are limited, participation can only be secured through the payment of the fee.

All participants are responsible for their own travel costs to Geneva, including Swiss visa fees and evening meals (approximately 30 Swiss Francs per meal).

Accommodation

Participants can request on-campus accommodation via the online application form. Due to the limited places available, accommodation is not guaranteed. Participants seeking on-campus accommodation are encouraged to request it as soon as possible.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted via the online application form.

If you encounter problems with your application, do not hesitate to contact us.

Practical Information

  • Venue: Villa Moynier, 120B Rue de Lausanne, Geneva
  • Duration: Monday 1st July - Friday 5 July 2019, 9:00 –17:30
  • Language of instruction: English.

If you have any questions, please email hrsandenvironment[at]geneva-academy.ch

Professors and Lecturers

Picture of Adriana Bessa

Adriana Bessa

Senior Research Fellow

Adriana Bessa's research areas include the rights of traditional local communities, the draft declaration on the rights of peasants and the right to food.

PIcture of Yves Lador

Yves Lador

Permanent Representative of Earthjustice in Geneva

Location

Villa Moynier 120B Rue de Lausanne Geneva

Access

Public Transport

Tram 15, Direction Nations - tram stop Butini

Bus 1 or 25, Direction Jardin Botanique - bus stop Sécheron

Access for people with disabilities

Villa Moynier is accessible to people with disabilities. If you have a disability or any additional needs and require assistance in order to participate fully, please email info@geneva-academy.ch

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Academics and civil society holding the UN declaration after its adoption News

A Major Step towards a Better Protection of the Rights of Peasants

28 September 2018

The adoption of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people living in rural areas is the outcome of more than ten years of work by social movements, civil society organizations, experts, and academic institutions like the Geneva Academy

Read more

Picture of the panel with Felix Kirchmeier, Kamelia Kemileva and Sarah Cleveland News

Experts Address the legal Consequences of the United States' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council

10 July 2018

In a debate organized by the Geneva Academy, panelists discussed the legal consequences of the United States' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council.

Read more

South Sudan, Akobo, women collect water at a water point Training

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals

9-13 September 2019

This training course explores the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and provides participants with practical tools to include ESCR and the SDGs in their work.

Read more

Wheat field Project

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and the Protection of the Right to Seeds in Europe

Started in January 2018

The project will notably identify the main opportunities and obstacles to protect the right to seeds in Europe. It will also discuss how to promote changes in European laws, policies and trade agreements to ensure that they do not infringe, but facilitate the realization of peasants’ right to seeds.

Read more

South Lebanon, Aita ech Chaab. Entry door of the primary school. Project

Protection of Education in Armed Conflict

Completed in January 2011

This project analyzed how United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies and relevant UN Charter-based mechanisms and entities have addressed the implementation of the right to education and other relevant rights in armed conflict and armed violence.

Read more