Although both human rights protection and environmental protection are relatively well-developed areas of public policy, recognition of the linkage between the two has been slow to develop. As activists, scholars, and policy practitioners have increasingly encountered situations at the intersection of these two areas, calls for the protection of environmental rights have intensified. Despite recent developments, however, no binding international agreement has had environmental rights as its primary focus. In addition, the issue continues to suffer from inattention due to the fact that it fails to fit neatly within the agenda of either the human rights movement or the environmental movement. The Spring 2004 issue of Human Rights Dialogue explores the definition, status, and relevance of the concept of environmental rights in law and politics around the world, and the extent to which a human rights lens is a helpful way in which to view environmental issues. Essays in this issue are organized around four themes: the inseparability of human rights and environmentalism; conflicts between human rights and environmental goals; the relationship between the concept and application of environmental justice and of human rights; and the enforceability of environmental rights.
SECTION 1 THE INSEPARABILITY OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTALISM
- Environmental Rights as a Matter of Survival
- The Ecological Roots of a Democracy Movement
- Climate Change and Human Rights
- Commentary on "The Inseparability of Human Rights and Environmentalism"
SECTION 2 THE CONFLICT BETWEEN RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTALISM
- When Parks and People Collide
- Workers' Rights and Pollution Control in Delhi
- Environmental Rights vs. Cultural Rights
- Commentary on "The conflict between rights and environmentalism"
SECTION 3 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
- "The Chixoy Dam Destroyed Our Lives"
- Twilight People: Iraq's Marsh Inhabitants
- Mining a Sacred Land
- Commentary on "The relationship between environmental rights and environmental injustice"
SECTION 4 THE ENFORCEABILITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS
- A Nascent Agenda for the Americas
- Environmental Rights Enforcement in U.S. Courts
- Defending Environmental Defenders
- Commentary on "The enforceability of environmental rights"
- A Choice for Indigenous Communities in the Philippines
- Environmental Protection in the United States: A Right, a Privilege, or Politics?
- Interview with Cristobal Osorio Sanchez
- Readers Respond: Environmental Rights
- Readers Respond: Violence Against Women