Adoption of the resolution on the rights of the child to a healthy environment

Date: 28th October 2020
Category: Basic Health and Welfare

The Human Rights Council has adopted its annual resolution on the rights of the child, with a focus on realising these rights through a healthy environment. This resolution urges States to recognise this right to a healthy environment through legislation and meaningful participation of children in decision-making processes.

The resolution has been advocated for by millions of children and young people across the world. It further builds upon a series of recent efforts to address the relationship between children’s rights and the environment, including the 2016 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Day of General Discussion.  In addition to this, the resolution does the following:

  • Reaffirms that States have the obligation to take additional measures for those who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of environmental harm. 
  • Recognises that discrimination and inequalities faced by children link to the level of exposure to environmental harm.
  • Emphasises that prevention is the most effective way to fully protect children from environmental harm and urges States to take decisive climate action, through adaptive and mitigating measures that take account the views of the child.
  • Advocates for effective regulation and enforcement mechanisms are put in place by States. 
  •  Urges States to take all necessary measures to prevent businesses from causing or contributing to children’s rights abuses; and calls upon all business enterprises to meet their responsibility to respect the rights of the child as outlined in the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its general comment No. 16 (2013) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 

Read more about this resolution here.