The Third Generation Project

Jessica Wiseman
Sunday 8 January 2023

Third Generation Project (TGP) is an innovative think-tank, based in the School of International Relations. TGP collaboratively advocates and promotes the collective rights of communities, in particular those who are on the frontlines of climate change.  

Human rights function on three levels. Primary and secondary rights form the main focus of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). These generations of rights cover individual civil, social and economic rights – such as freedom of speech, equality before the law, and the right to food, housing, and employment in just and favourable conditions. Tertiary – also known as third generation – human rights go beyond these individual rights to cover the collective, and include the right to a healthy environment, the right to participate in cultural heritage, and the right to self-determination.  

Collective rights are not explicitly denoted in the UDHR and, while initial steps have been taken to recognise them, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights remain the only two statutes which enshrine the need to protect communities in international law.  

The TGP believes that collective rights are as important as individual ones, and that the former – in particular regarding communities’ social and environmental collective rights, which are often impacted by climate change – are neglected.  

We work to redress this neglect by building bridges, through action and research, between affected communities, policy-makers, scholars and activists. We seek to work with and for affected communities to promote specifically their knowledge and concerns among the upper echelons of political decision-making.

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