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A Human Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment: Dream or Reality in Europe?

Jan van de Venis

elni Review 2011, Issue 1,  pp. 27-35.

Do we have a ‘human right to environment’ in Europe? In this short article, the author gives an introduction to (the development of) the human right to (a healthy) environment and briefly answers the question set out above. This article introduces the topic of human rights and the environment on a global scale. It sets out to inform the reader where this human rights-based approach to environmental issues came from, what tangible benefits such a right could bring and where it currently stands globally and, more specifically, in Europe under the European Convention on Human Rights. It therefore also analyses the recent Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers refusal of a Parliamentary Assembly recommendation on acknowledging a right to environment under the European Convention.

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