Toxic Crimes

Protecting the environment from wartime destruction

War often destroys the environment – either directly when armies poison foliage as a military strategy or indirectly, when toxins leak from bombed industrial sites. While the United Nations, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Law Commission, and International Criminal Court are growing more attentive to the destruction of the environment during war, courts seldom hold states and individuals accountable for the damage done to human health and ecosystems. In the Toxic Crimes project, we examine how rights advocates – lawyers, experts, and activists – protect the environment from direct and indirect wartime destruction and how they promote the idea that the environment has legally enforceable rights.