31, Oct 2018
According to an announcement from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN rights expert David R. Boyd called for the UN to formally recognise the human right to a healthy environment in his recent report to the General Assembly. Boyd is the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment. He said that 155 countries already have the legal responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil the right to a healthy environment, according to the OHCHR. The right to a healthy environment has constitutional status in more than 100 countries, and at least 130 countries have ratified human rights treaties that specifically contain the right to a healthy environment. “The global recognition of the right to a healthy environment would complement, reinforce and amplify the existing domestic and regional legal framework,” Boyd said, adding, “Recognition of the right by the United Nations would acknowledge that this right must be universally protected.” According to Boyd, a person’s life ends prematurely every four seconds because of pollution exposure, or other environmental threats. More than eight million people die annually due to environmental threats.