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The second part of the paper shows the existence of such a regime in international law.The third part shows the same with respect to India.Judge Weeramantri, in a separate opinion, stated that the protection of the environment was a vital part of the contemporary human rights doctrine for it was a sine qua non for the enjoyment of various human rights.
The central theme of this paper is to answer whether there exists a human right to environment in the international arena and in India.
Shelton proposed three ways in which human rights law and environmental protection law could co-exist. He argues that the right to environment does not exist as a separate human right, rather it forms an integral part of other human rights.
The human right to environment can be understood in two contexts: either as an independent right existing separately or as a part of other existing human rights.
Some of the major international instruments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights preceded the groundswell of concern for the environment that has sprang up in the late sixties.
Principle 1 of the Rio Declaration stated that ‘Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.
They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.’ Although this principle brought to the foreground the concept of sustainable development in the battle for environmental protection, it also recognized that human beings were the raison d’être for sustainable development and that they were entitled to a life in harmony with nature.
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However there does exist international instruments which talk of the human right to environment.
The link between human rights and environmental protection was made at the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972.