Does international law protect those affected by environmental degradation and climate change? What are the interlinkages between conflict and the environment and how do international human rights law and international humanitarian law address these? What are the linkages and tensions between the sustainable development framework and human rights? Who are those left behind? And why is development more sustainable if guided by human rights?
Human rights and sustainable development are intrinsically linked and mutually reinforcing. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – which aim to eradicate poverty, protect the environment and reduce all forms of violence – incorporate most of the core elements of civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. The degradation of the environment and environmental factors can also be at the origin of conflicts or human rights violations, which in turn cause severe setbacks for development.
Our research in this domain aims to explore the linkages between sustainable development, the protection of the environment, climate change and the branches of international law that protect the rights of the most vulnerable. It also focuses on those who are left behind – including peasants who represent 70 percent of people living in extreme poverty and 80 percent of the world’s hungry – and their specific rights.
In an article published in The Journal of Peasant Studies, our Senior Research Fellow Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni discusses – on the basis of research carried out at the Geneva Academy – the extent to which a feminist approach makes a difference to the realization of the rights to food, land, decent work, and social security.
At an online high-level meeting organized by Colombia’s Constitutional Court, our Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Dr Christophe Golay will present the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and its potential to protect the rights of peasants in the country.
Two years have passed since the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. On this occasion, we are launching, together with the International Land Coalition, an easy-to-use manual that looks into how this historical declaration can be used to protect the right to land.