United Nations Human Rights Award 2023

Global Coalition of civil society organisations, Indigenous Peoples, social movements and local communities for “the universal recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment”. 

 I am pleased that the Raoul Wallenberg Institute has been engaged in the development of the new standards. Over the past 15 – 20 years, we have been unwaveringly committed to developing the link between protecting human rights, our environment and climate change. We take pride in being part of the crucial work of the coalition ‘Healthy environment for all’. The award is a tremendous recognition, however we are all keenly aware that we have to double of efforts to realise the right to a Healthy Environment for all. – Director Morten Kjaerum.

The Healthy Environment For All coalition has achieved a momentous triumph by being honoured with the highest United Nations Human Rights Award 2023!

This remarkable achievement stands as a testament to the relentless efforts of contributors like the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. The UN’s recognition of the right to a healthy environment has not only made a profound impact on human rights law but has also reverberated in environmental law, most notably in the UN Biodiversity Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

The recognition of the right to a healthy environment by the UN is already having an impact not only on human rights law but also on #environmentallaw such as in the UN Biodiversity Kunming Montreal #GlobalBiodiversityFramework. – Claudia Ituarte-Lima, Thematic Leader Human Rights and the Environment.

This milestone marks a pivotal moment in history, with the UN acknowledging the intrinsic value of a healthy environment for every individual worldwide. The implications are far-reaching, as it brings us closer to safeguarding the precious ecosystems and biodiversity that are the bedrock of this right. Particularly in the Global South, where the need is paramount, this achievement carries immense significance.

The ongoing challenge lies in ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can fully realize this fundamental right. With pressing issues like climate change threatening the delicate balance of our planet, the urgent call to action becomes even more critical. By embracing the GBF and placing biodiversity at the forefront of our priorities, we can collectively pave the way towards a sustainable and thriving future for all.

Let this historic moment serve as a reminder of the immense responsibility we share in protecting our planet and the well-being of all its inhabitants. Together, as a united force, we can build a world where the right to a healthy environment is safeguarded for generations to come.

‘Human rights are indivisible, interdependent, and the right to healthy environment is evidence of that. Healthy ecosystems provide us vital nature contributions to people from nutritious food to purifying the water. Exercising the right to peaceful assembly and association is critical to safeguard these ecosystems . Claudia Ituarte-Lima (RWI)

Read more about our Symposiums here:

Symposium made in which we discussed the Right to a Healthy Environment (R2HE) Coalition history, actor constellations and what’s next which was moderated by Andrea Schapper (University of Stirling) Claudia Ituarte-Lima (RWI)

Symposium: Recognising the Right to a Healthy Environment (R2HE)

Symposium: ‘Recognising the Right to a Healthy Environment’

“The Coalition, comprising of over 1,350 organizations and other entities from 75 countries, has played a crucial role in achieving the historic recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The Human Rights Council recognized this right on 8 October 2021 through resolution 48/13, followed by the General Assembly resolution 76/300 adopted on 28 July 2022. This major step forward for human rights is a direct result of the persistent efforts of the Coalition”. – United Nations. 

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