One health - Health - Axis 3

(Jean Fougerouse, Rosane Gauriau)

One health

(Jean Fougerouse)

Since the early 2000s, there has been a growing awareness of the interdependencies between human, animal and environmental health, under the banner of One Health. This approach was championed by a number of international organizations following the outbreak of avian flu in Asia. In France, the concept has become an undercurrent (Environmental Code, ANSES, Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique, etc.).

However, it is still a work in progress (Olive, Angot, 2022), appearing as an "umbrella concept" (Leboeuf, 2011). The One Health approach has a theoretical interest (definition and field, links with other concepts such as syndemics, developed by M. Singer), particularly in terms of law (what norms are linked to this concept or, failing that, a weak normativity with the concept of soft governance put forward by Mackenzie, 2019); but has also a practical interest (especially for citizens and local stakeholders).

Work, Health and Environment

(Rosane Gauriau)

The links between work, health and the environment are now well established in social legislation. Particularly since the beginning of the 21st century, European and French legislators and the judiciary have taken up the issue of occupational health in relation to the environment. Since then, we have witnessed the construction of a right to an ecologically compatible working environment: human work must contribute to the preservation of the environment. 

For example, the Health Act dated August 2, 2021, which aims to reinforce prevention in the workplace, is an invitation to reflect on the need to work with the aim of preserving both public and workers' health and the environment. Or the decision by the French Council of State, which recognized that the right of everyone to live in a balanced environment that respects health is a fundamental freedom.

This position echoes the Charter of the Environment and the jurisprudence of the French Constitutional Council, which considers environmental protection to be an objective of constitutional value. Social partners are also invited to take part in social and environmental dialogue. However, the social law approach seems to focus more on the occupational – physical (health) and psychosocial – risks that workers may face as a result of climate disruption, and the consequences for their health. Mental health is yet another area to be explored.

The focus is therefore about breaking down the barriers between these different lines of reasoning, using the One Health approach. The aim is to consider the environmental issue and the effects of climate change on workers' health, considering that work and work organization are central elements. Lastly, we may also consider "green" work and employment from the point of view of life and the living. 

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