Linking Human Rights & the Environment

A recent report released by the Worldwatch Institute links environmental activism and human rights protection. The report, "Eco-Justice: Linking Human Rights and the Environment," suggests that the existence of social inequities may be at the root of environmental injustices. Worldwatch research associate Aaron Sachs cites various environmental issues faced by minority and impoverished peoples of Nigeria, Brazil, Kenya, the Philippines, China, the United States, and other countries. In most cases, the people fighting against environmental exploitation (those immediately affected by it), are being systematically silenced by the polluters, or the governments that benefit from such pollution. The recently executed Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa is a tragic case in point. As the report details, victims of environmental and human rights abuses are often impoverished minorities who already face societal discrimination, and who have limited resources for mounting protests. Sachs suggests that both the human rights and environmental movements should join forces in order to strengthen their overall impact. "If all the vulnerable members of society -- the impoverished, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, women, children -- had access to environmental information and could exercise their right to free speech," he explains, "then potential polluters and profligate consumers would no longer be able to treat them as expendable, and would have to seek alternatives to their polluting activities and overconsumption." For more information, contact WorldWatch's Jim Perry, 202-296-7365

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.