There is, of course, a direct relation between the right to a
healthy environment and other human rights. Environmental
degradation affects the right to life, health, work and education. For
example, the pollution of lakes and waters in a large number of
countries has a severe impact on the fishermen’s possibility to make
a decent living through their traditional work, or the pollution of the
air and water resulted from the activity of certain plants generates
health issues, while intoxications caused by lead-based paints, gas
etc. affect the children’s capacity to learn.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the environment
in relation with health, as being all the physical, chemical, and
biological factors external to a person and all the related behaviours1.
A healthy environment consists in the prevention or control of
diseases, lesions and disabilities caused by the interactions between
people and the environment.
The current legal regulation highlights the elaboration and
enshrinement at national and international level of a fundamental human right to a healthy and balanced environment. The environment is
considered healthy when it provides the adequate conditions of living
and development to all the beings living at a certain point on Earth.
Without a doubt, in order to be healthy, the environment must be
ecologically balanced and preserved by any means and protected.
From the perspective of human rights, in the context of a severe
environmental degradation, the right to a healthy environment gains
an essential position, besides other rights, including the right to
development, the right an adequate social environment by countering
terrorism, criminality and drugs, the right to peace and security, the
right to humanitarian assistance and observance of common
humanity patrimony, rights with the generic name of collective
solidarity third generation rights. The chronological categorization of
human rights remains one of the best known forms of categorization.
Thus, there are first-generation human rights, represented by
“classic” civil and political rights: the right to life, freedom, physical
integrity, freedom of expression etc. The second-generation human
rights are represented by the economic, social and cultural rights,
which involve the positive intervention of the state, with the purpose
of creating the material and social conditions for their exercise. The
third-generation rights are represented by the collective, solidarity
rights and, with the latest discoveries in medicine and biology the
enshrinement of a fourth generation of human rights, which protect
the human dignity from certain forms of abuse: genetic engineering,
experiments on the human embryo, organ transplantation1.