UN Rapporteur to visit Fiji

By Anish Chand
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment, David Boyd will visit Fiji from 7th to 18th December.

This will be an official visit where Boyd will speak to numerous stakeholders, including discussions with government officials and representatives of civil society.

Special Rapporteur David Boyd will also be a guest speaker at the annual Attorney Generals Conference on 7th December where will be a panelist on the topic, building the cities of tomorrow.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment examines good practices and challenges in the implementation of human rights obligations relating to environmental protection.

A press release from the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Fiji visit says human rights and the environments are interlinked and interdependent.

The full enjoyment of human rights depends on healthy environment. Environmental degradation undermines our ability to enjoy our human rights, including the rights to life and health, to food and water, to cultural life, and to a healthy and sustainable environment,” the UN statement says.

The UNHRC says states have a general obligation to protect the environment in order to protect the rights that depend upon it.

These obligations include duties of the State to provide information about environmental matters, facilitate public participation in environmental decision-making, and provide effective remedies for environmental harm,” says the statement.

The UN says states should establish and maintain substantive environmental standards and effectively enforce these standards aimed at respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights.

States must protect environmental defenders from harassment and violence. States also have heightened duties to protect those whose rights are most vulnerable to environmental harm,” says the UN.

Special Rapporteur David Boyd will present a public report on the country visit to the United Nations Human Rights Council.