A coalition which counts the Strathclyde-based One Ocean Hub amongst its membership has won the UN Human Rights Award.

The award for The Global Coalition of Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, Social Movements, and Local Communities for the Universal Recognition of the Rights to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment reflects its critical role in advocating for the international recognition of the human right to a healthy environment by the UN General Assembly in July 2022.

The international recognition of this right was thanks to the advocacy of civil society, Indigenous Peoples, social movements, local communities, and legal experts, as well as the leadership of governments of Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia, and Switzerland, also known as the ‘Core Group’.

The Award, given every five years, will be bestowed in New York on 10 December, which also marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, making this recognition even more special. The recipients were selected from more than 400 nominations received by a Special Committee of the UN General Assembly and the award ceremony will take place at UN Headquarters in New York in December.

Research contributions

The One Ocean Hub is an international programme of research for sustainable development, working to promote fair and inclusive decision-making for a healthy ocean whereby people and the planet flourish. The Hub is pioneering inter- and transdisciplinary research on human rights and the ocean.

Led by Strathclyde, the Hub has 18 partner organisations, including various UN agencies, and 21 research partners across the world. The Hub is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) – a key component in delivering the UK AID strategy that puts UK-led research at the heart of efforts to tackle the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The One Ocean Hub endorsed the Global Call for the universal recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in 2020 and has made a series of international engagements and research contributions on the international recognition and protection of the human right to a healthy environment.

Professor Elisa Morgera, Director of the One Ocean Hub, said: “It is heartening and inspiring to see the hard work of global partnerships of human rights holders, researchers and civil society organisations recognised by the UN, at a time when the protection of human rights and the environment faces increasing challenges and requires everyone’s contributions.”

The award reflects the One Ocean Hub’s ongoing contributions on the crucial importance of healthy biodiversity and a healthy ocean for everyone’s human right to a healthy environment and a safe climate, as shared with the UN Development ProgrammeUN Environmental Management Groupthe UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.