September 30, 2020

Confronting Conflict Pollution: Principles for Assisting Victims of Toxic Remnants of War

When: 10:00 - 11:30 am EDT

Where: Zoom

Armed conflicts and military activities take a toll on the environment that significantly affects both people and ecosystems. The pollution they cause inflicts severe and long-term physical, psychological, socioeconomic, and cultural harm. While UN bodies have begun to address toxic remnants of war, a framework to meet the short- and long-term needs of those affected has been absent.

Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic and the Conflict and Environment Observatory have adapted humanitarian disarmament’s norms of “victim assistance” to the context of toxic remnants of war. Our report, Confronting Conflict Pollution, presents 14 principles and associated commentary designed to establish the missing assistance framework. The principles embody a collective commitment to work towards victims’ full and effective participation in society and the realization of their human rights.

At this launch webinar, the authors will introduce the report and its new framework, and experts will offer perspectives on its applicability to environmental human rights, humanitarian assistance and conflict health.

Speakers include:

Bonnie Docherty (Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic)
Doug Weir (Conflict and Environment Observatory)

Docherty and Weir will be joined by discussants:

Baskut Tuncak (Former UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on Toxics)
Emilia Wahlstrom (Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit)
Prof. Richard Sullivan (KCL Centre for the Study of Conflict and Health, King’s College London)

The event will be facilitated by Oli Brown (Chatham House, Peaceworks).

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