This chapter discusses the human rights approaches to environmental protection and the evolution of "environmental rights" at the international level. International human rights law is essentially based on the relationship between two groups: duty bearers (states) and right holders (individuals). The relationship between duty bearers and right holders is a vertical one under human rights law. International human rights law has largely developed along two tracks: treaty-based mechanisms and charter-based mechanisms. Treaty-based mechanisms include several specialized regimes governing various vulnerable groups: women, children, migrant workers and disabled people. Charter-based mechanisms include special procedures: special rapporteurs, independent experts and fact-finding missions. The theoretical framework that informs this work is an analysis of the nature of human rights obligations through the typology of duties to respect, protect and fulfill and procedural rights which will be fully developed. The common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) principle, adopted in relation to certain environmental regimes, underlies the distributive justice component.