Environment and Planning

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All activities and policies relating to planning and the environment have the potential to engage a broad range of human rights.

There are several ways that policy can impact individual rights such as:

  • Industrial or noise pollution

  • Deforestation and other environmental damage

  • Health and access to water

  • Housing or property

  • Private and family life

The lack of an appropriate environment can impact:

  • The rights of access to services

  • Women’s right to participate and benefit from rural development

  • Children’s right to play freely and safely.

For the Departments and civil servants involved in environment and planning policies this means that due regard must be paid to the rights engaged.


Level 1

Government should not do anything that prevents individuals from enjoying their rights.


Level 2

It is important to put in place regulations that ensure private entities and individuals do not negatively affect other person’s rights and that the environment is free from hazards and pollution.


Level 3

The Departments and NICS must also ensure that the public receive sufficient and adequate information on plans and other projects that may impact their homes and lives. The lack of such information is directly linked to the public’s ability to participate meaningfully in consultations and decision-making processes, which form another key right in relation to environmental and planning issues. 


Rights Engaged

Right to private and family life
  • ECHR/HRA, Art 8
  • ICCPR, Art 17
  • UNCRPD, Arts 22, 23, 31
  • UNCRC, Art 16

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Right to health
  • ESC, Art 11
  • ICESCR, Art 12
  • UNCEDAW, Art 12
  • UNCRPD, Art 25
  • UNCRC, Art 24

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Right to an adequate standard of living
  • ICESCR, Art 11
  • UNCEDAW, Art 14(2)(h)
  • UNCRPD , Art 28
  • UNCRC, Art 27

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Freedom of expression (Access to information)
  • ECHR/HRA, Art 10
  • ICCPR, Art 19

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Protection of Property
  • ECHR/HRA,  Protocol 1, Art 1
Right to play
  • UNCRC, Art 31
Right of women to participate in and benefit from rural development
  • UNCEDAW, Art 14(2)
Right to participation
  • ICCPR, Art 25
  • ICESCR, Arts 13(1), 15(1)
  • UNCEDAW, Arts  7, 8, 13(c), 14(2)
  • ICERD, Art 5(e)(vi)
  • UNCRC, Arts 12, 31
  • UNCRPD, Arts 3(c), 4(3), 9, 29, 30