Saturday, December 21, 2013
Manukyan on the Effectiveness of the ICESCR in Holding State and Non-State Actors Accountable for Environmental Degradation
Sofya Manukyan has published “Can the ICESCR Be an Alternative for Environmental Protection? Analysis of the Effectiveness of the ICESCR in Holding State and Non-State Actors Accountable for Environmental Degradation” on SSRN. Here is an excerpt of the abstract:
[O]ne method for tackling the problem of environmental degradation is creating universal mandatory norms to which all corporations would adhere. Another method, however, which is considered in this work in more details, is the approach to the issue of environmental degradation from the human rights perspective, particularly from the perspective of each human being having the right to live in a healthy, clean environment. As the reflection of this right is found in the state binding UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), we consider this indirect approach to the environmental protection as a possible effective method for addressing the issues of environmental degradation.
Therefore, in this work we first justify our choice of approaching the environmental protection from the perspective of state’s human rights obligations, rather than from the perspective of voluntary guidelines adopted by corporations and financial institutions. We then analyze how relevant articles of the ICESCR address the issue of environmental degradation. After this analysis we identify possible obstacles which may hinder the fulfillment of the Covenant provisions. Based on the observations, we summarize the extent to which the ICESCR can serve as an alternative for environmental protection, acting as a temporary measure, until the guidelines adopted by the corporations and financial institutions aimed at protecting human rights and the environment become universal and mandatory.