Effects of many environmental problems such as air, water, and soil pollution, drought, and loss of biodiversity on living creatures of the earth are felt more and more with each passing day. Environmental problems deeply concern all individuals, communities and countries. Therefore, raising public's awareness on protection of the environment, promoting individuals' sensitivity to environmental issues and informing them about the steps they can take to protect the environment are very important for prevention of environmental pollution.
Since Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment held by the United Nations (UN), June 5 is celebrated as the World Environment Day globally. World Environment Day is an important tool to draw attention to environmental issues, which are global, and to encourage policy makers, public institutions, non-governmental organizations, all relevant stakeholders and individuals to take steps on the environment. World Environment Day is celebrated within the framework of a theme that focuses on the environmental issues which are particularly emphasized. Theme for 2023 by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is "Beat Plastic Pollution".
Environmental issues affect human rights in different forms and dimensions. The aforementioned situation is expresses as "Both aspects of man's environment the natural and the man-made, are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights - even the right to life itself." in the first article of Stockholm Declaration. Access to clean air, clean water and healthy food, which are the basic elements of life, are indispensable conditions for people to lead a healthy life. Environmental problems can lead to negative consequences on people's access to many rights such as right to life, health, housing and property. It is known that low-income communities and vulnerable groups with special needs such as women, persons with disabilities, children and older persons are more vulnerable to environmental problems.
Right to environment is a category of rights which is protected both by international human rights law and our national law. According to Stockholm Declaration dated 1972, "Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life." International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that "the improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene and the prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases" are responsibilities of the States Parties. According to Convention on the Rights of the Child, "Within the framework of fundamental health care services... To combat disease and malnutrition… taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution" are responsibilities of States Parties.
According to Article 56 of our Constitution, "Everyone has the right to live in a healthy and balanced environment. It is the duty of the State and citizens to improve the natural environment, to protect the environmental health and to prevent environmental pollution." With this regulation in our Constitution, right to environment is defined as a duty imposed on both the State and citizens, as well as being a right.
Our Institution, main mission of which is to protect the right to equal treatment of persons on the basis of human dignity and prevention of discrimination in exercising the legally acknowledged rights and freedoms, celebrates June 5 World Environment Day, wishing for a world where all necessary steps are taken for a sustainable future and activities for the elimination of environmental problems and climate change are strengthened.
Respectfully announced to the public.