“Younger generations are afraid of not having the possibility to hope for a better future. I think everyone is aware of the threats represented by environmental harms but there is a lack of concrete actions from the international community. We call for a real change.” said Solal, the child environmental human rights defender speaking at the Intersessional Event on Realizing the rights of the child through a healthy environment.

The Intersessional Event organised by Child Rights Connect, the European Union, the Permanent Mission of Uruguay, UNICEF and OHCHR on February 12th, aimed at kickstarting discussions among relevant stakeholders on what should be addressed during the 2020 Annual Day on the Rights of the Child (ADRC) to take place during this June Human Rights Council (HRC) session on the theme “Realizing the rights of the child through a healthy environment” (HRC resolution 40/14).

The event, which took place during the session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee), brought together CRC Committee members, the Special Rapporteur on Environment, State representatives, a WHO expert, and civil society, including a child environmental human rights defender, to discuss how the international community should address children’s call for action with a view to building a coherent child rights-based approach to the environment.

“Climate change and environmental harms are among children’s biggest concerns and they are calling the international community to take action” said Clarence Nelson, Member of the CRC Committee

Some key points of the panel discussion included:

  • The relevance of the ADRC and this year’s Council resolution on the Rights of the Child to a) identify synergies between the different stakeholders’ agendas in this field; b) identify concrete measures to acknowledge and support environmental initiatives by children and youth; and c) encourage States to mainstream children’s rights when adopting and implementing environmental frameworks.
  • The need to develop clear and authoritative guidance on the heightened obligations arising under the UNCRC in relation to environmental harm, ideally through a General Comment of the CRC Committee.
  • The need for the global recognition of the right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, as key component to accelerating progress in realising children’s rights.

Read the full summary report of the event for more information!

Discussions on this will continue during the June HRC session with the ADRC and the presentation of the recent OHCHR report on the topic to which Child Rights Connect contributed with a submission. This year’s resolution on the rights of the child to focus on this theme will be negotiated during the September HRC session.

For more information contact Agnes at gracia@childrightsconnect.org