04 July 2023
The Transnational Law Institute Presented a Report to the UN Human Rights Committee
The Human Rights Committee is holding its 138th session in Geneva and reviewed, among other countries, the human rights situation in Brazil; The Transnational Law Institute, alongside the NGOs Clean Trade and Terra de Direitos, submitted a shadow report on people's right to natural resources (art. 1 of the ICCPR) that benefited from legal research carried out by students of the Transnational Legal Clinic
This month, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) is holding its 138th session in Geneva, reviewing state periodical reports about the human rights situation in several countries including Cyprus, Lesotho, Burundi, Palestine, Uganda, Colombia and Brazil.
As part of the review process, civil society organisations are allowed to submit “shadow reports” to highlight human rights issues not fully covered in official state reports, informing and aiding the committee in its review work.
The Transnational Law Institute, led by Professor Octavio Ferraz, submitted a shadow report on Brazil, written in cooperation with NGOs Terra de Direitos and Clean Trade, urging the Brazilian state, including the government, legislatures, the judiciary and the police to protect its citizens’ rights to natural resources from harmful exploitation by national and international companies, in particular through strict implementation of existing laws that impose liability for human rights violations and environmental harm.
The report, which Professor Octavio Ferraz presented in front of the committee in Geneva on June 26, benefited significantly from research conducted by 17 LLM students of the TLI’s Transnational Legal Clinic.
The right to natural resources is the only human right that is stated twice in the international bill of rights, being in article one of both human rights covenants (the ICCPR and the ICESCR, ratified by states in which 98% of the world’s population lives), although it does not receive the attention it deserves. As the report emphasises, this should change as this right is particularly important in the current context of environmental and climate crisis.
Protection of this right in Brazil is important not to only to protect the habitat and sources of income of the local indigenous and traditional peoples in the Amazon, but also for the protection of the entire planet as the state of the Amazon rainforest has a crucial impact on the climate.
The following participants in the Transnational Legal Clinic at King’s College London carried out research for the report:
Fandra Budianna, Joao Pedro Alkamin de Almeida, Luna de la Llama, Caitlyn Flores, Aliona Ghervas, Andrea Gil, Alexandra Glarner, Risha Kulshrestra, Omri Levin, Mushtha Mukhtar, Piriyanthini Muthulingam, Alexis Saillard, Nana Shakhnazaryan, Julian Siefert, Anannya Sivakumar, Leens van Kessel, Ypke Wu, Yuqi Zhou.