Slowly, but increasingly, people on Earth start to see and recognise that we are not just a ruler over this planet. We impact the lives of other humans, our future generations and other members of life on Earth by our actions. The time has come for us to rediscover and acknowledge in law that we are indeed a part of this planet and nature.
We have placed ourselves outside of nature for many decades, but now again see that we need our planet and direct surroundings to be healthy, clean and balanced.
Stand Up For Your Rights advocates for the rights of humans and Nature and plays a role in the development and safeguarding of the rights that are related to a sustainable future on this planet.
Why do we focus on a Rights based approach?
Rights are like needs. They are basic things that people must have or be able to do to live a healthy, safe and good life. We need food, for example, and so we have a right to food. Human Rights are the codification of the most fundamental needs and values of society. Therefore the primary argument in favour of a human rights approach to sustainable development issues may well be that it elevates the entire spectrum of sustainability, development and environmental issues to fundamental values of society, on a level equal to other rights and superior to ordinary legislation. A level where these issues belong.
As all rights are connected to obligations, placing sustainability, development and environmental issues at this level will create both rights and more awareness on these issues for individuals. Same goes for the case of Rights of Nature.
Other benefits of a Rights based approach:
- It links global, regional and local issues - with for instance sustainability issues or environmental disruption often taking place in an international context;
- Victims will have access to international procedures that allow those harmed to bring international pressure to bear when governments lack the will to prevent or halt severe violations that threatens human health and well-being. In many instances, petitioners have been afforded redress and governments have taken measures to remedy the violation;
- A rights-based approach would – compared to existing approach to sustainablity, development and environmental laws – focus less on states and more on individuals, who in fact get hurt or could get hurt by development that is unsustainable or by the disruption of the environment;
- In the absence of guaranteed rights on these issues, other constitutionally protected rights, like property rights, may be given automatic priority instead of being balanced against sustainable development, health and environmental concerns; and
- Human rights claims are absolute, meaning that they are immune to lobbying and pressure.
What topics do we focus on?
We currently focus on three main areas of work:
- Rights of Nature
- Human Rights linked to Environmental Issues; and
- The Rights of Future Generations