Climate change and the rights of the child

Date: 24th July 2017
Category: General principles, Disability, Basic Health and Welfare

In a report presented to the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner looked at the relationship between climate change and the full and effective enjoyment of the rights of the child.

In the study, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights examines the impacts of climate change on children and the related human rights obligations and responsibilities of States and other actors, including the elements of a child rights-based approach to climate change policies. The study provides examples of good practices and concludes with several recommendations.

Ms. Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights said the report addresses the many threats that climate change poses to the enjoyment of the rights of the child. She also stressed that the human rights commitments contained in the UNCRC and those from the Paris climate agreement were clear on the obligations of States to protect the rights of the child and address climate change while taking into account the principle of the best interest of the child, as expressed by children themselves. She also recalled that States must guarantee access to remedies for children affected by climate change. Making recommendations to States parties in order to take a human rights-based approach to protect those most vulnerable to climate change from its worst impacts, the report also provides good practices in promoting children's rights in national climate actions, including educational policies, disaster risk reduction measures, strategic litigation and engagement by human rights mechanisms.