Day of General Discussion 2016: Children's Rights and the Environment

Date: 4th October 2016
Category: Right to life, survival and development

On Friday 23rd September, the Committee on the Rights of the Child's Day of General Discussion (DGD) was held on the topic of 'Children's Rights and the Environment'. MCP's at the Children's Parliament went out and did fantastically well in representing Scotland!

The DGD is organised once every two years to foster a deeper understanding of the content and implications of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as they relate to specific articles or topics. The overall objective of the 2016 session was to promote understanding of the relationship between children's rights and the environment; identify what needs to be done for child rights-related laws, policies and practices to take adequate account of environmental issues; and for environment-related laws, policies and practices to be child-sensitive.

The participants present on the day took part in two working groups, with one focusing on 'Children's exposure to environmental toxicants' and the other on 'Children and the effects of environmental degradation'. Both panels included experts in children's rights, the environment, and several children who were invited to speak about their rights, activism and the state of the environment in their countries.

A Children's Parliament project called 'StreetsAhead Tranent' has been ongoing throughout the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 and the project has been exploring children's views and experiences of their local community and built environment; examining how these factors impact on children's rights and wellbeing. After much success, those MCPs involved in the project took it to the Day of Discussion in Geneva as part of 'Under the Same Sky', an international constellation of projects exploring children's rights and the environment. Children's Parliament's StreetsAhead Tranent project represents Scotland's contribution to the constellation. Five other contributions come from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Palestine, Australia and Brazil. During the day the StreetsAhead Tranent participants were asked to share their mural with delegates from all over the world, including members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.