Fiji: Women’s rights to a clean and healthy Environment

In a briefing paper released today, the International Commission of Jurists points out that, “while the right to clean and healthy environment is protected under the 2013 Fiji Constitution, it must be actioned, which requires a whole of government and a whole of society approach and technical and financial resources must be reflected accordingly.” This paper provides recommendations on how the environmental laws and policies in Fiji can be strengthened to protect women’s rights to a clean and healthy environment.

Fijian women’s right to a clean and healthy environment is protected under the 2013 Constitution. The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/76/L. 75 recognizes the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a human right.

The main causes of change in Fiji’s environment include, population growth and urbanization, economic growth and globalization, geography and locational context, technological development, traditional values and ethnicity, and climate change.

The capacity of women’s ability to exercise their human rights and build resilience in the fact of catastrophic climate events is however negatively impacted by gender inequality. The impacts of climate change are no longer confined to being an environmental or political issue, but also a complex social problem with immense repercussions on human rights and the well-being of women, girls, and other persons from marginalized groups who already face injustices due to gendered power dynamics and a lack of control over the use and access to resources.

In recognizing a clean and healthy environment as a human right the Fijian Government has to enact legislation identifying procedural and substantive elements enabling for the effective implementation of this right. This briefing analysis Fiji’s compliance to international best practices and gender mainstreaming in environment laws and policies.


To download the briefing paper, click here


Adi Alanieta Velulu, ICJ National Legal Consultant – Fiji, email:

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