Children have the right to grow up in a healthy environment.
We are committed to ensuring that children grow up healthy and can live out their human rights to the fullest!
A safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a prerequisite for this mission.
Recognise rights worldwide
The right to a healthy environment demands that our environment should be safe, clean, healthy and sustainable. We are committed to recognising this right worldwide.
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There is ample evidence of the damage caused by humans and the climate change they are causing. Ecosystems and biodiversity around the world are showing rapid decline.
We work to ensure that the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is recognised as a fundamental right worldwide.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, with the support of the World Future Council, is producing a statement on the rights of children and the environment, with a particular focus on climate change (General Comment No. 26) – authoritative guidance on how children’s rights are affected by the environmental crisis and what governments must do to uphold these rights. We support this!
The enjoyment of rights, especially those of children and young people, are closely connected to the enjoyment of a clean, safe and healthy (physical) environment.
Children are more vulnerable to the risks caused by the triple planetary crisis: climate change, pollution (chemicals, toxic substances and waste) and biodiversity loss because of their evolving physical and mental development. Climate change contributes to extreme weather events, water scarcity and food insecurity, air pollution or vector-borne and infectious diseases, that promote poverty, migration or flight and traumas.
Almost all the substantive rights of the child may be affected by the triple planetary crises: the right to life, survival and development, health, food, water and sanitation, education, rest, leisure and play, housing, identity and nationality, as well as freedom from all forms of violence. With the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all states but one have committed themselves to doing everything in their power to protect the rights and best interests of the child, this is especially now urgent in the face of the triple planetary crises.
In recent years the topic around environmental rights/ Right to a clean, safe and healthy environment has become an existential issue that has been driven by children and younger people in particular. The World Future Council supports and accompanies the demands for a right for a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment together with its partners, has campaigned for the realisation of this right. After all, an intact natural environment is also a basic prerequisite for future generations to find a living environment and be able to exercise their rights as we do today.
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: General Comment No. 26
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child with a particular focus on climate change (General Comment No. 26) – authoritative guidance on how children’s rights are affected by the environmental crisis and what governments must do to uphold these rights. We support this!
Recognition of the right to a clean and healthy environment
The time is ripe! We worked on the global call to the UN Human Rights Council to recognise the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In October 2021, after years of work by more than 1,000 civil society organisations, including the World Future Council, the Human Rights Council finally recognised this right and called on the UN General Assembly to do the same.
Publications & Downloads
Article: Ecological children’s rights and education for sustainable development
The article asks why ESD and children’s ecological rights are so closely intertwined?
This article describes our approach in calling on the UN Human Rights Council to recognise the right to a healthy environment as a human right.
Videos & Webinars
In the run-up to the publication of General Comment No. 26, we discussed the UN initiatives to advance the protection of children’s rights for a clean environment, their implications and perspectives.
Partners & Initiatives
Initiative for children’s environmental rights
The World Future Council is a global partner organisation of the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative, which works to put children’s rights at the centre of environmental decision-making and action. Its overarching goal is to ensure international recognition of children’s fundamental right to a safe and healthy environment.
The National Coalition Germany – Network for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child e. V.
The National Coalition Germany has made the realisation of children’s rights its programme.
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