Understanding the Relationship between Conflict, Security and the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

Started in May 2023

Context

Last year, in a landmark resolution, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly recognized the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This development sat in parallel with a growing consensus that environmental rights abrogation can drive conflict and threaten peace and security.

Such evidence has evolved rapidly. Food and water insecurity for example have a particularly strong causal relationship with diminutions in safety and security and conflict protraction. Protection against climate change, environmental good governance and the promotion of the right to a healthy environment should thus be seen both as a tool of conflict prevention and key to conflict resolution and non-recidivism. Such causal relationships, however, have not been sufficiently integrated into multilateral policy debates and decision-making processes.

Objective

This project will develop guidance to inform security, human rights and environmental debates on the linkages between environmental rights and conflict, and how their better management can serve as a tool in conflict prevention, resilience and early warning.

Homing in on six country hotspots for environmental conflict spillovers, we will also identify entry points for engaging at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council, as well as strategies to overcome challenges to policy uptake.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

food in a graph shape News

New Paper Examines How Environmental Damage Caused by Conflict Effects the Global Food System

18 April 2024

Our latest Research Brief examines the myriad consequences that accompany damage rendered upon food systems during armed conflict.

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dry marshland southern Iraq News

New Paper Explores How Climate Change, Violations of Environmental Human Rights and Conflict Coalesce

27 March 2024

Our latest Research Brief discusses the varied ways that climate change, violations of environmental human rights and conflict can coalesce and work in a mutually reinforcing manner.

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Yemeni women live in the open after being displaced from their homes due to the war in Taiz News

New Publication Unpacks UN Human Rights Council's Potential Role in Preventing Climate-Induced Conflicts

29 January 2024

Our new Research Brief explores the potential role of the UN Human Rights Council as an actor in the prevention of climate-related conflicts, alongside other multilateral efforts within the UN system.

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Publications

Cover Page of Research Brief

Unpacking the Burgeoning Challenge of Environmental Protection and the Right to Food in the Context of Armed Conflict

April 2024

Erica Harper, Junli Lim

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

Navigating the Nexus: Climate Insecurity, Environmental Rights Violations and Conflict in Fragile Settings

March 2024

Erica Harper

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

The Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment: Understanding its Scope, States Obligations and Links with Other Human Rights

March 2024

Christophe Golay, Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

Policy Brief - Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention

January 2024

Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover page of the research brief

Climate Change in the Security Council: Obstacles, Opportunities, and Options

May 2023

Erica Harper, Adam Day

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the United Nations University

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24 November 2023

We organize online Q&A information sessions for prospective students interested in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

Read more

HRMI logo News

In Highlight: The Human Rights Measurement Initiative’s Rights Tracker

26 January 2024

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The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

11-15 November 2024

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

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Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

25 April - 17 May 2024

This online short course discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

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The Digitalization of Armed Conflict

Started in September 2020

This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.

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Panel Discussion: Project

Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in January 2014

The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

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Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Unpacking the Burgeoning Challenge of Environmental Protection and the Right to Food in the Context of Armed Conflict

published on April 2024

Erica Harper, Junli Lim

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Briefing N° 23: The Human Rights Data Revolution

published on April 2024

Domenico Zipoli

Read more