25 March 2021

Respect for Human Rights and Increase of Human Security, with AEHS Foundation

30th Annual International (West Coast) Conference on Soil, Water, Energy and Air of the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation

This presentation will focus on how a norms-based approach, which is a conscious and systematic integration of international norms and rights principles into all aspects of activities and policies, can offer a robust basis for creating human security and durable sustainability. It will consider how activities and policies influence the enjoyment of rights of the societies in which one operates. It will describe the underlying principles such as participation, accountability, and non-discrimination.

The presentation will also provide tools to implement standards that are binding first and foremost for states, but a rights-based approach can and should be applied to all actors. Having such an approach makes it easier to foresee what mandatory regulations will come out of e.g. the EU as well as the UN Principles for Responsible Investors. Furthermore, this approach allows for much more pragmatism regarding what sustainable development and progress look like in areas of the world which are less developed that where a number of investors and firms are based, as well as what steps can and should be taken in complex sectors and geographical areas and still be able to show sustainable progress. 

The presentation will focus on how to integrate this into sustainability strategies, how to base indicators and report on said standards and importantly how to use the approach in a real effective multi-stakeholder engagement. Without respect for rights there is no human security, and without human security there is no broader societal security. It will also touch upon the links to environmental sustainability efforts and the effects on lack of respect for rights in environmentally induced migration movements.