Global Coalition for Right to a Healthy Environment Wins UN Human Rights Prize

The Global Coalition of Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, Social Movements, and Local Communities for the Universal Recognition of the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment was named a 2023 United Nations Human Rights Prize recipient on July 20. The prize was granted to the coalition, of which the Building and Woodworkers' International (BWI) is a member, in recognition of its successful effort to persuade the United Nations to recognise the "Right to a Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment."

It can be recalled that on 8 October 2021, the Human Rights Council recognised through resolution 48/13, followed by a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on 28 July 2022. As climate change continues to be the most pressing issue of humankind, the right recognises that everyone, everywhere, has the right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. 

BWI congratulated the coalition and expressed confidence that the UN's recognition of the right will generate a global impetus for all countries to transition to a more equitable and sustainable future. The global union of 12 million workers stated that the acknowledgment of the claimed right complements its drive for a just transition to a greener world of work in which no worker is left behind. BWI also said that governments must now urgently implement and adapt comprehensive measures, including laws that ensure that all workers, especially those working under adverse weather patterns and extreme temperatures, enjoy healthy and safe workplaces.

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