What is it about?

We have put a lot of time and effort into creating laws that will help reduce damage to our environment. But we have not always thought about the impact of these laws on children. This project looked at climate law and children’s rights. Children are a ‘vulnerable group’ – they are at risk of suffering because of other people’s decisions about their environment and lives. Almost every country in the world has signed up to United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This means we have a legal obligation to ensure that decisions we make about climate change are protecting our children. The scientists on this project say one way to do that is to put human rights at the centre of our thinking about climate change. At the moment, they say, we tend to think about climate change in terms of government departments and processes.

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Why is it important?

People who make laws and policies have to make them work for everyone. They have to focus on the majority. This may mean they do not think about what effect policies will have on minorities and vulnerable groups, such as children. The international community has legal obligations to develop climate-change policies oriented towards children and future generations. KEY TAKEAWAY: We know that the children of today will face the climate problems of tomorrow. Our children have the right to a sustainable environment. We must make sure our climate change policies protect children’s human rights.

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This page is a summary of: Children’s Rights and Climate-Change Policy: Addressing the Concerns of Children and Future Generations, Environmental Policy and Law, October 2018, IOS Press, DOI: 10.3233/epl-180069.
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