Human Rights And Wind Energy Projects-Part 3.

Written in 2016 by Peter Mitchell; Human rights and wind energy projects’ will be posted on DeFrock in five parts.

http://en.friends-against-wind.org/justice/human-rights-and-wind-energy-projects


This document is a review of the possible breaches by wind energy projects of various of the human rights of people living in the vicinity of a wind project. It identifies and considers a number of potential breaches of varying impact and of differing ease or difficulty of establishing. In this context the rights to health, safe working conditions and property may be the simplest to establish whether breaches have or have not occurred.

Readers of this document need to understand that it is not in any way a legal argument and that whilst all reasonable steps have been taken in its construction the author makes no representation that the information is complete nor that the analysis and conclusions are correct.

Those interested in the subject should obtain their own advice before proceeding with a formal complaint.

Prepared by:
Peter R Mitchell AM, BChe
March 2016


F. Human Rights Legislation

In addition to the original Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”) Australia is a signatory to eight other international conventions or treaties on human rights.
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/chart-related-rights-and-articles-human-rightsinstruments-human-rights-your-fingertips-human-rights  The UDHR and at least four subsequent conventions contain specific articles and rights that are being ignored and arbitrarily violated by the operations of the wind industry.

The relevant Conventions and Articles are:

• Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

• International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/international-covenant-economic-social-and-cultural-rights-human-rights-your-fingertips-human-rights

• International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/international-covenant-civil-and-political-rights-human-rights-your-fingertips-human-rights-your

• Covenant on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/convention-rights-child-human-rights-your-fingertips-human-rights-your-fingertips

• Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or
Punishment (CAT).
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/convention-against-torture-and-other-cruel-inhuman-or-degrading-treatment-or-punishment-human-rights

G. Major Breaches of Human Rights

Appendices 1 to 5 list the relevant Articles of the Declaration and each Covenant with an
analysis or statement as to the specific possible breach.

This analysis indicates that the human rights of residents living within 10km of a WEP appear to be ignored and breached in multiple ways by the wind industry, responsible authorities and politicians. The rights that appear to be breached are of a serious and major magnitude; and the damage is rising in both the number of victims and in its intensity.

a) Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment:

• No one should be subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, UDHR Article 5;

• Undertake to prevent acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, CAT Article16(i).

b) Discrimination:

• All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law, UDHR Article 7;

• The law shall prohibit any discrimination on any ground such as …….. property, ICCPR
Article 17;

• Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for
acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or the law, UDHR
Article 8;

• The law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee equal and effective protection
against discrimination, ICCPR Article 26.

c) Arbitrary Interference:

• No one shall be subject to arbitrary interference with family and home: UDHR, Article
12;

• No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property, UDHR Article 17;

• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his family (or)
home, ICCPR Article 17.

d) Working Conditions:

• The right to safe and healthy working conditions, ICESCR Article 7(b);

• The prevention, treatment and control of occupational and other diseases, ICESCR
Article 7(b).

e) Family:

• The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family,
ICESCR Article 10(1);

• Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children
and young persons, ICESCR, Article 10(2);

• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his family (or)
home, ICCPR Article 17.

f) Children:

• Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children
and young persons, ICESCR, Article 10(2);

• Undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her
well-being ………. and to this end shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative
measures, CRC, Article 3(2);

• Shall take all ….. measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental
violence injury or abuse, CRC, Article 19;

• Recognise the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of
health, CRC Article 24;

• No child shall be subjected to ………. cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment CRC
Article 37.

g) Physical and Mental Health:

• Recognise the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of
physical and mental health, ICESCR Article 12(1);

• The prevention, treatment and control of ………. occupational and other diseases,
ICESCR Article 12(2c).

• States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable
standard of health…… CRC Article 24 (1)

h) Homes and Other Assets:

• No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his family (or)
home, ICCPR Article 17;

• Nothing in this covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all
peoples to enjoy and utilise fully and freely their natural wealth and resources, ICESCR
Article 25.

Appendices 1 to 5 examine covenant by covenant the specific articles noted above and are therefore key to the conclusions reached.

H. Obligations of Civil Servants

By ratifying these conventions/treaties Australia has accepted these documents and their definition of specific rights as having “standing” in Australia.

The Australian Human Rights Commission Act charges the Commission with the implementation, oversight and enforcement of the suite of rights encompassed by these
conventions.

It is not easy to identify the legal responsibilities of public servants in relation to human rights and infringements by wind turbine projects on local populations. However the Federal Legislation which governs the conduct of federal public servants is relevant, and the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct states the following:
http://www.apsc.gov.au/working-in-the-aps/your-rights-and-responsibilities-as-an-aps-employee

“The principles of good public administration, embodied in the APS Values and
Employment Principles, lie at the heart of the democratic process and the confidence the public has in the way public servants exercise authority when meeting government
objectives. Good public administration is a protection not only against inefficiency and
poor performance, but also against fraud, corruption, inequity, inability to conduct
business confidently and infringement of human rights.”

One would think that where a public servant is involved whether it be in the permitting,
compliance and continued operation of a wind project that is, or will likely cause human
rights infringements on local residents, that they should take every care to avoid such
infringement. This should include nighttime shutdown if sleep is being disturbed, rapid and independent investigation of the claimed infringement and, if proven, require the project owner to remove the mechanism of infringement before the project may restart.

To do nothing would infer complicity in the infringement of the victims’ human rights. Given the analysis offered above these are no minor infringements.


For Appendices 1-5 see DeFrock Posts- Human Rights & Wind Energy Projects-Parts 4 & 5.

https://defrock.org/2019/10/27/human-rights-and-wind-energy-projects-part-1/

https://defrock.org/2019/10/28/human-rights-and-wind-energy-projects-part-2/


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