Dubetska and Others v. Ukraine

Submitted by Kelly Russo on Fri, 02/11/2011 - 00:00
Regional Decisions
European Court

The European Court of Human Rights held that the Ukraine government violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to protect the applicants' home and family lives from excessive pollution generated by two State-owned industrial facilities. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights recognizes the right of each person to respect for the privacy and enjoyment of their home and family lives. While the Court agreed with the State that the applicants presented no evidence establishing quantifiable harm, it reasoned that living in an area contaminated with pollution in excess of applicable safety standards poses an elevated risk of harm and the State was obligated to strike a fair balance between the interests of the affected and the community as a whole. Even considering the complexity of a cleanup and the lack of resources available to the State, the Court found that the State's inability to relocate the applicants or find any solution over the lengthy period of 12 years constituted a violation of Article 8.