Update on the work of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment: relevance for states, businesses, and local environmental justice

Document Type


Publication Date



Business and Environment, Environmental Law, Human Rights and Environment


In this, my second post on the Dalhousie Environmental Law News blog, I am joined by JD candidate Meg Williams. In my first post, I provided reflections on the way in which environment and climate justice issues were – or were not – incorporated into discussions at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, held in Geneva in November 2018. At the time I noted that Mr. Baskut Tuncak, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances, had spoken at length about a 2015 report on the right to information at the Geneva forum. Mr. Tuncak drew attention to the independent responsibility of businesses to undertake human rights due diligence to identify actual and potential impacts of hazardous substances on human rights to life and health. Businesses would then be expected to communicate to governments and the public about the existence of these substances in products and global supply chains. In this post, we will first reflect on the recent work of a different United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment (officially, the special rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment). We will then consider the implications of this and select contributions by other recent Human Rights Council mandate holders for local environmental justice concerns.


Environmental Law News Blog (MELAW)