Human Rights Council holding 34th Session

Date: 7th March 2017
Category: Reporting to and monitoring the UNCRC

The sessions is being held from 27 February - 24 March 2017 in Geneva. The session featured the annual day on the rights of the child under the theme 'Protection of the rights of the child in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' on Monday, 6 March.

During this session of the Human Rights Council, a number of special rapporteurs will present their annual reports to the Council, including the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography. Reports will also be presented by the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict and on violence against children.

The Child Rights International Network (CRIN) are reporting live from the event from 6-10 March, providing round-up discussions through a daily UN CRINmail and via the hashtag #HRC34

Oral Statement on the Rights of the Child

As part of the HRC Annual Day on the Rights of the Child (Monday, 6th March), an oral statement was prepared on the rights of the child and the SDGs

Panel discussion on climate change and the rights of the child

The panel discussed the relationship between climate change and the rights of the child and was followed by a discussion which included input from States, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders. Ha Kim Ngoc, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, highlighted that combatting the effects of climate change was linked to the enjoyment of human rights, particularly stressing the need for environmental policies that address and protect children's rights.

Children, women and young people were repeatedly identified as those most vulnerable to effects of climate change, with many speakers calling for the inclusion of a gender dimension in policy deliberations on climate change. Several participants added that climate change immediately jeopardised children's right to health, food, drinking water and education, and many encouraged a more participatory approach to the fight against climate change. Education was noted as being critical in preparing children for the future and in making them environmentally aware.

Finally, Kirsten Sandberg of the Committee on the Rights of the Child called upon States to report to the Committee on the actions they had taken to mitigate and adapt to climate change, adding that there was a need for more civil society reports questioning State actions related to climate change and accountability for businesses. Sandberg added that the most affected children should not merely be seen as vulnerable, but also as potential actors for change.