Campaign for the right to a healthy environment, including Amnesty International, wins prestigious human rights prize

Young climate activist call for change in the Philippines.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PRESS RELEASE

20 July 2023

Campaign for the right to a healthy environment, including Amnesty International, wins prestigious human rights prize

Responding to the announcement that a global civil society and Indigenous peoples’ coalition, which includes Amnesty International, has won the prestigious for successfully campaigning to have everyone’s right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment universally recognized by the United Nations, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“Amnesty International is proud to be part of this broad coalition involving civil society organizations, Indigenous Peoples, social movements and local communities, from around the world. Together, we have campaigned tirelessly over several years to have everyone’s right to a healthy environment universally recognised.

“The UN Human Rights Prize is announced during a week where people in all regions of the world are yet again facing the impacts of the climate breakdown, with devastating effects on their right to health and life. The entire planet is affected – burning, drowning, polluted, facing water scarcity and its ecosystems and biodiversity are under extreme threat.

“Amnesty International will continue to work in the coalition to make the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment a reality for all, and have it enshrined legally at regional and national levels, implemented, and enforced. This presents challenges in the face of often entrenched opposition to this right, especially in states where civic space is severely restricted and human rights defenders are often met with brutal repression.

“On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and ahead of this year’s COP28 climate conference, this award has a special resonance and will serve to renew our determination to build upon this success and ensure everyone has their right to a healthy environment fulfilled.”

Background

The Global Coalition of Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, Social Movements and Local Communities for the Universal Recognition of the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment has been selected for the UN Human Rights Award, which is awarded every five years to five recipients. An awards ceremony will take place in December at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Civil society organizations, Indigenous Peoples, social movements and local communities have been defending and promoting the right to a healthy environment for several decades and in recent years have coalesced around the call to have this right recognized by the United Nations. In 2020, the Coalition issued a which was signed by more than 1,350 organizations seeking universal recognition of the right to healthy environment. Members of the Coalition, including Amnesty International, also engaged in advocacy and campaigning between 2020 and 2022. The UN Human Rights Council recognized in a resolution on 8 October 2021, followed by the UN General Assembly on 28 July 2022.

COP28 will be held in Dubai between 30 November to 12 December.

The official press release from the Global Coalition of Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, Social Movements and Local Communities for the Universal Recognition of the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment is available Read the reactions from the members of the coalition: .