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Reading Human Right to Environment in Human Right Instrument

Although the Universal Declaration on Human Right has no direct reference to human right to environment, it reveals its concern for environment by enunciating right to health and well-being of people. Article 25 of the UNDHR declares that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services. Fundamental human rights such as the right to the highest attainable standard of health enshrined in the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and the right to life enshrined in the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) depend on a clean and healthy environment. The main question in this context is whether the right to life imposes positive obligations on the state. Does the state have to provide adequate living conditions like better drinking water and clean air, so that this fundamental human right is not negatively affected?

Author:
Dr. Ayaz Ahmad, Associate Professor, Unitedworld School of Law (UWSL)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.

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