EU-Thai film screenings mark Human Rights Day through advocacy for the right to a healthy environment
With the UN’s recent recognition of a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a human right, the EU has become Thailand’s first international partner in raising awareness and advocating for solidarity with local and global stakeholders
The EU was founded on the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, which remain at the heart of its internal and external policies. Now, with the recent UN Resolution acknowledging that environmental damage has negative implications – both direct and indirect – for the effective enjoyment of all human rights, the EU is leading the way to broader recognition and respect for the link between human rights and the environment.
Human Rights Day is observed annually on 10 December, and this year Thailand marked the occasion with a series of free film screenings organised under the theme of ‘Our Right to Live on a Healthy Planet’.
From 9 to 12 December 2022, the EU Delegation to Thailand (EUD) partnered with Thailand’s Rights and Liberties Protection Department (RLPD), Ministry of Justice, and Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, to showcase several films by producers from the EU and Thailand.
With a selection of films curated in cooperation with Documentary Club, House Samyan and Environman, audiences that totalled around 150 people became better aware of how climate change and environmental degradation are encroaching upon the livelihoods of people around the world, through stories set in Thailand, the US (Alaska) and Kenya.
An opening reception kicked off the event with the presence of the Royal Thai Government, diplomats, UN officials, civil society and academia, along with members of the public. The EU’s Ambassador to Thailand HE David Daly delivered a joint message with the deputy heads of RLPD and ONEP, in committing to uphold the right to a healthy environment, hand-in-hand with the EU as Thailand’s first international partner to celebrate the new recognition of this right by the UN General Assembly.
‘We have human rights, not because we are European or Asian; we have them simply because we are humans,’ said Amb Daly. ‘Furthermore, human rights are indivisible; human rights are all equally important and equally necessary to protect human dignity. Without respect for human rights, sustainable peace and stability, long-term development and prosperity cannot exist.’
EU films screened were Losing Alaska (Ireland) and Thank You for the Rain (Norway), while Blood on the River: Special Edition and By the River were shown from Thailand. The stories conveyed highlighted the need for climate action and environmental protection – a shared aim of the EU-Thai partnership.
The EU has made strides in strengthening the environmental aspect of human rights protection. Its Charter of Fundamental Rights states that environmental protection must be integrated in EU policies, while its Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2020-2024) outlines the commitment to address the risks and impacts of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss on human rights.