Environmental Rights

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In 1998, the Aboriginal Communities Association Lhaka Honat filed an action with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the State of Argentina. The communities living in Salta province denounced violations of their right to ancestral land, to cultural integrity and to a safe environment, following the State’s decision to build an international bridge and carry out an urban development plan in their territory, which would significantly alter their way of life.

Neuquén Province's Official Defender of Minors filed an amparo action to protect the health of children and youth in the indigenous Mapuche community of Paynemil, because they had been exposed to water contaminated with lead and mercury. The applicant requested that the State be ordered to provide enough drinking water to ensure the survival of the affected community, to conduct the diagnosis and treatment of affected minors, and to adopt adequate measures to prevent future soil and water contamination.

Neuquén Province's Official Defender of Minors filed a complaint with the IACHD alleging violation of children's right to the protection required by their status as minors, as well as of rights to health, a healthy environment, land ownership and effective remedy. The Official Defender had filed an amparo action to protect the health of children and youth in the Paynemil Mapuche community exposed to consumption of water contaminated with lead and mercury.

The communication alleged that the military government of Nigeria was guilty of, amongst other things, violations of the right to health, the right to dispose of wealth and natural resources, the right to a clean environment and family rights, due to its condoning and facilitating the operations of oil corporations in Ogoniland.  

An action was filed by several minors represented by their parents against the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to cancel existing timber license agreements in the country and to stop issuance of new ones. It was claimed that the resultant deforestation and damage to the environment violated their constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health (Sections 16 and 15, Article II of the Constitution).   The petitioners asserted that they represented others of their generation as well as generations yet unborn.