The Scope and Types of Environmental Human Rights
December 20, 2017
Environmental human rights (EHRs) have received greater worldwide attention over the years since first recognized by the 1972 Stockholm Declaration. Approximately 100 countries currently recognize and guarantee EHRs within their national constitutions. EHRs have been also used by such diverse groups as academics, social activists, International organizations, political parties, NGOs, etc. EHRs, however, are still a long way from being clear as a concept, or may at best be considered vague. This may be because different scholars have defined EHRs in different ways. In order to broaden and deepen our understanding of EHRs, this conceptual paper will attempt to explain the scope and types of EHRs through a critical analysis of the related literature by addressing the following research questions: (1) What is the scope of environmental human rights? and (2) What types of environmental human rights are there? It concludes with four main types of EHRs, including the right to environment, civil and political rights, and the constitutional and procedural rights that are the rights of individuals to preserve the environment in which they live.