Human rights impact of oil pollution: Ecuador

Relevant international human rights standards


Cultural rights

The right to "freely to participate in the cultural life of the community" is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 15.1(a).  The right to take part in cultural life is also recognised by International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, article 12, Additional protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights article 14, and other international standards, and is elaborated in the UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights' General Comment 21.  See also United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention 169.


Deaths

The right to life is protected by the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, article 6; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 3; American Convention on Human Rights article 4; and other international standards.  It is elaborated in the UN Human Rights Committee's General Comment 6.


Displacement

The right not to be arbitrarily deprived of property is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 17.2, American Convention on Human Rights article 21, and other international standards.  The right to housing for a person and his family is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 25.1, International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights article 11, and other international standards, and is elaborated in the UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights’ General Comment 4.  The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [articles 7.1 (d) and 7.2 (d)] includes forced displacement in its definition of “crimes against humanity”. 


Health

The right to "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health" is guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, article 12, Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights article 10, and other international standards.  It is elaborated in the UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights' General Comment 14.  The Constitution of the World Health Organization states that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being”.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also mentions health as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, in article 25.


Livelihoods & adequate standard of living

The right to an adequate standard of living is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 25; the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (ICESCR), article 11; and other international standards.  The right to work, including the right "to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work”, is provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 23.1.  The right to work is also guaranteed by ICESCR article 6, Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights article 6, and other international standards, and elaborated in the UN Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights' General Comment 18.

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