The commodification and exploitation of fresh water: Property, human rights and green criminology

Johnson, Hope, South, Nigel, & Walters, Reece (2016) The commodification and exploitation of fresh water: Property, human rights and green criminology. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 44, pp. 146-162.

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In recent years, both developing and industrialised societies have experienced riots and civil unrest over the corporate exploitation of fresh water. Water conflicts increase as water scarcity rises and the unsustainable use of fresh water will continue to have profound implications for sustainable development and the realisation of human rights. Rather than states adopting more costly water conservation strategies or implementing efficient water technologies, corporations are exploiting natural resources in what has been described as the “privatization of water”. By using legal doctrines, states and corporations construct fresh water sources as something that can be owned or leased. For some regions, the privatization of water has enabled corporations and corrupt states to exploit a fundamental human right. Arguing that such matters are of relevance to criminology, which should be concerned with fundamental environmental and human rights, this article adopts a green criminological perspective and draws upon Treadmill of Production theory.

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ID Code: 86121
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Green Criminology, Water Scarcity, Eco-Crime, Freshwater
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlcj.2015.07.003
ISSN: 1756-0616
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution; Non-Commercial; No-Derivatives 4.0 International. DOI: --
Deposited On: 02 Aug 2015 22:17
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2016 16:44

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