NPWJ welcomes the UN Human Rights Council’s recognition of the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment

8 Oct, 2021 | Press Releases

Geneva, 8 October 2021

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) strongly welcomes the approval by an overwhelming majority of the United Nations Human Rights Council of the resolution on the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

On 9 March 2021, the governments of Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland delivered a joint statement at the Human Rights Council inviting governments to support the call for the recognition of the right to a healthy environment. Resolution 48/13 was approved on Friday 8 October 2021 during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council with 43 votes in favour, four abstentions and zero against. On the same occasion, the Human Rights Council also passed a second resolution (48/14) that establishes a Special Rapporteur on the human rights impact of climate change.

Resolution 48/13 recognises the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment as fundamental for the enjoyment of other human rights, encourages States to adopt policies for the enjoyment of this right, including with respect to biodiversity and ecosystems, and invites the General Assembly to consider the matter.

No Peace Without Justice is one of the more of 1,300 civil society and Indigenous People organisations from over 75 countries that signed a global call to the Human Rights Council Member States to recognise the right to a healthy environment for all.

The call highlights that a healthy environment is essential for human life and dignity, especially in view of the global environmental crisis that violates and jeopardises the human rights of billions of people globally. With global scientific consensus and multiple assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the critical state of the environment and its consequences for human lives, it is imperative that states and regional organisations incorporate the right to a healthy environment in their Constitutions, laws and policies.

We hope that this recognition by the Human Rights Council will prompt other national and international stakeholders to take swift and bold actions to guarantee respect for the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

For further information, please contact Alison Smith, Director of International Justice, on or Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator on