Minority Rights and Environmental Justice in Developing Countries


Thompson Peter Onah / institute for public diplomacy

About the author:

Thompson Peter Onah

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHARLOTTE, Charlotte, NC, U.S.A expected 2021

Ph.D. Public Policy (Specialization: Security & Justice Policy)

Doctor/PhD member of the INSTITUT DE DIPLOMATIE PUBLIQUE.










INSTITUTO DE DIPLOMATIA PUBLICA

This chapter explores factors that influence the social constructs of minority groups in the contexts of how policymakers of a government (as represented by dominant groups and their interest in society) apportion the burdens of environmental degradation to minorities in the developing nations. It further explores the concept of rights and justice within the framework of territoriality where minorities reside or claim to be their space. The concern in this essay is on how to address the difficult circumstances of minorities in the developing world in order to bring to the fore the dilemmas of their human rights—particularly with respect to environmental rights. In examining the different instruments that developing countries can use to maintain social order, the discussions evaluate the different legal provisions in two countries—Nigeria and South Africa—by illuminating the interests of those who have the authority to make laws and how they may have made them selfishly. Nevertheless, some pertinent questions related to this discourse are: Do minorities in developing societies have substantial inputs in the formulation and crafting of the provisions in the constitution and national laws? Do the laws recognize the interest and vulnerabilities of minorities? Are laws formulated conducive to the protection of the environmental rights of the society, especially of minorities? What factors enhance some environmental issues and what factors or reasons could keep other environmental quagmires outside the purview of academic scrutiny, media attention and the consideration of lawmakers?