Around the right to an adequate environment

01/08/2016

At first, you may be curious about what link between environment and human rights, but the enjoyment of all human rights is closely linked to the environmental issue. Not only rights to life and health in the first place, but also other social, economic, cultural, as well as political and civil rights, can be fully enjoyed only in a sound environment.
“…when governments around the world fail to restrict emissions of greenhouse gases leading to global climate change," said the UN Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, John Knox, "they fail to protect many human rights, including rights to life, health, property, development, and self-determination, of people living in vulnerable communities such as those in low-lying coastal areas and in the polar region."
More than 2 million annual deaths and billions of cases of diseases are attributed to pollution. All over the world, people experience the negative effects of environmental degradation ecosystems decline, including water shortage, fisheries depletion, natural disasters due to deforestation and unsafe management and disposal of toxic and dangerous wastes and products. Indigenous peoples suffer directly from the degradation of the ecosystems that they rely upon for their livelihoods. Climate change is exacerbating many of these negative effects of environmental degradation on human health and wellbeing and is also causing new ones, including an increase in extreme weather events and an increase in spread of malaria and other vector born diseases. These facts clearly show the close linkages between the environment and the enjoyment of human rights, and justify an integrated approach to environment and human rights. 
Besides the undeniable interdependence between the environmental issue and all human rights, a new human right - the right to an adequate environment - is emerging. This right, still not precisely formulated, appears in documents and in literature, in some cases as a collective and in other cases as an individual human right.
The right to an adequate environment or, as it is termed in some texts, a satisfactory environment, is one of the so-called third-generation or solidarity rights. It can be found in international documents of both a declaratory and formally binding nature, as well as in domestic legislative and other acts of a number of countries, including some constitutions.7 The African Charter, for instance, proclaims that: "All peoples shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development."8 In the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, 1972) it appears, however, also as an individual right. The Declaration states that: "Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations." It appears as an individual right also in the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, which proposes, as one of the legal principles for environmental protection and sustainable development, that: "All human beings have the fundamental right to an environment adequate for their health and well-being." Finally, it should be noted that elements of this right can be found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as in both Covenants, although the environment as such is scarcely mentioned in the documents.
Right in its first Platform, the Communist Party of Viet Nam identified the noble objective of the revolution was to bring about freedom and happiness to the Vietnamese people. It is the highest connotation of human rights. The task of struggle for democracy (including human rights) is put on a par with the task of struggle for national liberation. Implementing the Party and State’s consistent lines and policies to ensure and promote human rights, particularly in the nearly 30 years of comprehensive renovation of the country, Viet Nam has made great and substantive achievements, creating precedent for better guarantee of human rights. Per capita income has increased by 7 folds, from US$ 200 in 1990 to US$ 1,960 in 2013. The number of poor households has remarkably and continuously decreased from 13.7% in 2008 to 7.8% in 2013. The Report on Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Program recognized that Viet Nam was one of the 10 countries having the highest growth rate of income in 40 years. International community considers Viet Nam as an example in poverty reduction and food security. By now, Viet Nam has achieved all Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Viet Nam has recorded positive results in universalization of education, promotion of gender equality, raising Human Development Index, ensuring religious practices, belief, information freedom, internet access and other fields.
However, it’s admitted that environmental issues are becoming a real obstacle to enjoyment of human rights. And this issue also raises many misunderstandings between the government and people, posing threats to the national security. Typically, the disaster of massive fish deaths in the central provinces of Vietnam recently has caused many problems for Vietnam’s economy and security. People either misunderstood or were deceived and incited by hostile forces, such as the terrorist group Viet Tan, to rally to protest the government. Even after the government issued a report of causes and culprit, people have still been incited to demonstrate against the report and held many wrong activities.
It’s still in mind that the demonstrations on the very delicate and complex situation in the South China Sea in 2014 which turn to violence and thuggery have undermined the country’s credibility and image in the international community. So, I think everyone should reconsider their statements and deeds even in the name of patriotism. Let the government does its jobs and help to discover schemes and activities in the name of human rights to hinder the process of national construction and development on the path to socialism./.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 10 ]


John Smith 2/8/16 14:05

The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) expressed concern on Thursday over the impact of mysterious mass fish deaths along Vietnam’s central coast on the enjoyment of human rights in the country, in particular, the right to health and food.

Gentle Moon 2/8/16 14:07

Vietnam has made remarkable strides in many ways—the economy is growing quickly, the Internet is booming and there’s a growing confidence, but there's still many things to do with environment.

Love Peace 2/8/16 14:08

A healthy environment is a basic condition for enjoyment of human rights and democracy.

MaskOf Zero 2/8/16 14:11

You can see the government tends to allow protests to take place when they concern environment issues. That shows freedom of expression in Vietnam now.

LawrenceSamuels 2/8/16 14:13

The right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, recognized in the International Covenant on Cultural, Economic and Social Rights, to which Viet Nam is a party.

Deck Hero14 2/8/16 14:14

Viet Nam has become party to most of the core international human rights treaties and is considering to accede to the rest of them. To the best of its capacity, Viet Nam has implemented its obligations under these treaties through legislative, administrative, juridical and educative measures.

Jane smartnic 2/8/16 14:16

In my opinion, Formosa should be out of Vietnam for a good environment!

Only Solidar 2/8/16 20:49

All human beings depend on the environment in which we live. A safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation.

yobro yobro 2/8/16 20:52

Without a healthy environment, we are unable to fulfil our aspirations or even live at a level commensurate with minimum standards of human dignity.

Pack Cassiopian 2/8/16 20:55

In recent years, the recognition of the links between human rights and the environment has greatly increased.

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