The Human Right to Glaciers: Expanding the InternationalHuman Right to Water

Roxana POPA*

Abstract: The aim of this article is to provide a brief but conclusive analysis of the current international legal framework that protects the fundamental right to water. While glaciers constitute one form of water and are partly covered by international conventions, this approach is insufficient given the urgency of the climate crisis and its global impact. While the international right to water has been thoroughly discussed and analysed, academic focus is yet to touch upon glaciers’ place in the international legal framework. Due to structural and material differences between liquid water and glaciers, the right to glaciers should be specifically protected under international law, particularly given its interdependence with the widely-recognised fundamental right to water.

Key-words: glaciers; fundamental right; right to water; economic, social and cultural rights.

* LL.B., LL.M., Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands, Roxana Popa obtained her LL.B. from the University of Manchester and is a recent graduate of the LL.M. programme in Public International Law at Leiden University. She is currently working as a legal intern at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the Netherlands. The opinions expressed in this paper are solely the author’s and do not engage the institution she belongs to.

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