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Environmental racism, American exceptionalism, and Chilly Battle human rights

OAS headquarters in Washington

Carmen Gonzalez lately posted “Environmental Racism, American Exceptionalism, and Chilly Battle Human Rights”. The summary:

Environmental justice students and activists coined the phrases “environmental racism” to explain the disproportionate focus of environmental hazards in neighborhoods populated by racial and ethnic minorities. Having exhausted home authorized treatments (or having concluded that these treatments are unavailable), communities of shade in the US are more and more turning to worldwide human rights regulation and establishments to problem environmental racism. 

Nonetheless, the US has ratified solely a handful of human rights treaties, and has restricted the home utility of those treaties via reservations and declarations that preclude judicial enforcement within the absence of implementing laws. Certainly, the U.S. has typically resisted scrutiny of its human rights file by home or worldwide establishments on the premise of “American exceptionalism” — the assumption that the U.S. is exclusive in its dedication to freedom and equality and supplies extra sturdy safety of human rights than worldwide regulation. What historic occasions triggered this resistance to worldwide human rights regulation? What are the implications for human rights-based approaches to environmental safety? 

This text explains how the battle for racial justice in the US on the top of the Chilly Battle formed U.S. attitudes to worldwide human rights regulation. Utilizing Mossville Environmental Motion Now v. United States as a case examine (at present pending earlier than the Inter-American Fee on Human Rights), the article argues that worldwide human rights regulation is much superior to U.S. home regulation as a method of addressing environmental injustice. Nonetheless, its utility is constrained by authorized doctrines developed over time however bolstered throughout the Chilly Battle that prohibit the enforcement of worldwide human rights regulation in U.S. courts. Nonetheless, a victory for the Mossville petitioners could be immensely helpful as half of a bigger technique to call and disgrace the US, to bridge the hole between worldwide regulation and home regulation, and to teach authorities officers and the general public at massive in regards to the relationship between environmental safety and human rights.

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