Open Access



Air Pollution and Human Right Connections: An Analytical Snapshot with Special Reference to Brick Kiln Emissions in Jammu District

Nitan Sharma

DIP: 18.02.007/20210601

DOI: 10.25215/2455/060107

Received: January 15, 2021; Revision Received: February 14, 2021; Accepted: March 21, 2021


The poor air quality that we are forced to inhale, particularly in heavily polluted areas, harms our health and well being.  Air is an essential resource for the sustenance of all life forms. Still, various factors such as motorization, industrialisation, rapid population and urbanisation have deteriorated the air quality. Air pollution has both short term and long term adverse effects, and it is also acknowledged as a public health threat. Most notably, human life and dignity depend on a healthy environment. Simply put, environmental rights are the foundation from which all other human rights are made possible. The right to a healthy environment is also recognised as ‘third generation’ human rights in recent years.  Further, cautioning and helping citizens from hazardous levels of air pollution is a question of good governance and a matter of social justice when it comes to people who are more vulnerable to this menace. It is thus not an overstatement to say that clean air is safe air. Beyond emissions from vehicles, another contributor to air pollution in the Jammu district is brick kilns primarily located on the peripheries of the cities to feed the rapid urbanisation.  Most importantly, there are 153 brick kilns presently operating in the Jammu district alone.  Most of them are in the Jammu district’s irrigated agricultural areas, including R.S. Pura, Bishnah, Badyal Brahmana, Akhnoor, Mishriwala and Marh Block. Despite a robust legal and institutional framework to regulate the emissions from Brick kilns, the problem is continuously increasing with no signs of abatement.  Therefore, the current research seeks to analyse various environmental and health impacts due to the operation of these kilns. It further suggests the importance of highlighting whether framing air pollution as a human rights issue would motivate and direct actions more quickly and efficiently than what exists at present.

The authors profoundly appreciate all the people who have successfully contributed to ensuring this paper in place. Their contributions are acknowledged however their names cannot be mentioned.

The author declared no conflict of interest.

This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Article Overview

ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429

DIP: 18.02.007/20210601

DOI: 10.25215/2455/060107

Published in

Volume 06, Issue 1, January – March, 2021

  • 27Downloads
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