The struggle for climate justice and for environmental protection and conservation is a struggle for human rights. This point, together with the reverse point – that the full enjoyment of human rights supports more effective and sustainable environmental and climate policies – has been repeatedly recognised in Human Rights Council resolutions and international environmental/climate agreements. Nevertheless, around the world, 93% of children live in environments where air pollution exceeds WHO guidelines. According to the UN, the deaths of 1.7 million children under the age of five each year are due to environmental factors – notably air and water pollution and exposure to toxic substances. The impacts of environmental harm fall particularly hard on the youngest children, as well as on indigenous children and those from low-income and marginalised communities.
In order to raise awareness on climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, and thereby to protect their own rights and those of their communities, young people in particular have been at the forefront of the worldwide movements: marching peacefully and persistently; engaging in strategic litigation; helping to devise climate solutions; overturning obstacles and overcoming threats.
To find out more about children’s rights in the context of environment, international efforts and youth engagement tune in on Wednesday 25 November at 14 UTC (15 CET).