Information

29 June - 3 July 2020
Application start 1 January 2020
Application end 14 June 2020
Application end / With visa 3 May 2020
Fee: 1530 Swiss Francs

Downloads

Flyer >

The Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

Small irrigation system with polluted water in N’Zerekore, Guinea Small irrigation system with polluted water in N’Zerekore, Guinea

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.

Specific Focus on Water Pollution and Scarcity

This 2020 edition will dedicate special attention to water pollution and scarcity. Course attendants will participate in exercises to discuss the impacts of water pollution on 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
  • Business accountability
  • 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

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 water 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: the number of discounted places is limited, so if you qualify please apply soon!). 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 this online application form.

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

Videos

The 2020 Edition of our Training Course on the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment: Focus on Water Pollution and Scarcity

Dr Adriana Bessa, a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy, tells us about the upcoming edition of our training course on human rights and the environment which will notably discuss the impacts of water pollution on 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.

The 2020 Edition of our Training Course on the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment: Meet our Lecturers

Yves Lador is the Permanent Representative of EarthJustice in Geneva and a lecturer in this training course. He tells us about the relationship between the protection of human rights and the environment and the focus of the course.

The 2020 Edition of our Training Course on the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment: Meet our Lecturers

Joshua Cooper is the Executive Director of the Hawaii Institute for Human Rights and a lecturer in this training course. He tells us about the course and its features, including visits to the UN Human Rights Council and the Aarhus Compliance Committee, as well as his lecture on human rights defenders and environmental defenders.

Training Course on the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment: What Participants Say

Pooja Navikumar is a Communication and Marketing Specialist. She attended the 2019 edition of our training course on the protection of human rights and the environment and tells us about the course, its highlights and why she would recommend it.

Training Course on the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment: What Participants Say

Seun Bakare is a Programme Manager at Amnesty International in Nigeria. He attended the 2019 edition of our training course on the protection of human rights and the environment and tells us about the course and why he would recommend it.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

A desk with books and publications News

Leading Academics Will Address the Use of Less-Lethal Weapons for Law Enforcement Purpose

5 March 2018

Leading academics, law enforcement experts and practitioners from different regions and legal backgrounds, and representatives from international organizations and civil society will join an academic working group to discuss use of force challenges in different contexts.

Read more

Casamance, Bignona department, Djibidione municipality, Diaboudior Frontière (Senegal). ICRC market garden programme. Women are taking care of african eggplants. News

TOWARDS A RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHT TO LAND AND OTHER NATURAL RESSOURCES

12 May 2017

Our new Research Brief The Right to Land and Other Natural Resources summarizes key findings linked to the recognition of the right to land and other natural resources in the context of the current negotiation of a UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas at the UN Human Rights Council.

Read more

Event

Supporting Environmental Defenders: How can we Mobilize the International Community?

26 February 2020, 17:30-19:00

This event combines testimonies from environmental defenders with recent academic analysis and responses from high-level representatives from International Geneva and the Mayor of Geneva.

Read more

Banner with the cover of the book Event

Book Launch: A Practical Anatomy of the Human Rights Council

12 March 2020, 12:30-13:30

This book is the outcome of a six-month research fellowship at the Geneva Academy carried out by Eric Tistounet, Chief of the Human Rights Council Branch at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Read more

Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

12 October - 29 November 2020

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en oeuvre.

Read more

A farmer in her field, DRC Training

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

8-12 June 2020

From its adoption to its content and implementation, this training course provides a comprehensive overview of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants, as well as tools to protect and promote the rights of peasants, rural women, fisher, pastoralist and nomadic communities, as well as agricultural workers.

Read more

Rwanda, on the outskirts of Kigali, Wa-Jali. Jeanne Françoise, a young girl reunited two years ago with her grandmother by the ICRC, stands in a banana orchard near her house. Project

Development and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Started in January 2008

This project aims to raise awareness about the complementarity of human rights and development by analyzing the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights and global development goals, namely the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.

Read more

A woman worker at a construction site in India Project

Human Rights and Gender Equality in the Context of Business Activities

Started in June 2018

This project aims to support the UN working group’s consultation process and thus contribute the promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality in relation to the business sector via research on international human rights law and policy related to gender equality guarantees and their application to business activities, and the organization of a global conference in Geneva.

Read more