Human rights and the environment: Professor John Knox, a UN expert, in first fact-finding visit to France

The United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, John Knox, will undertake an official visit to France from 20 – 24 October 2014, to assess how the country is implementing human rights relating to environmental protection and to identify good practices.

“France is at the forefront at linking human rights with environmental protection,” the expert said, praising it for being the first country to devote an entire constitutional declaration to the right to the environment.

The French Environment Charter raises sustainable development to the highest level in France’s legal structure, alongside the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the preamble to the 1946 Constitution.

“However,” Mr. Knox stressed, “it is important to assess the lessons learned and challenges faced in the country with regard to realisation of such environmental rights, as well as how it is addressing global environmental challenges with human rights impacts, such as climate change.”

During his five-day visit, at the invitation of the Government, the UN Independent Expert will meet Government officials and experts, as well as representatives of civil society.

Mr. Knox will present his preliminary observations on the visit at a press conference on the last day of the mission, Friday 24 October at 11:00, at Salle René Cassin, Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme (CNCDH), 35 rue saint Dominique, 75007 Paris.

Read the story on The Asia Digest.