UN experts on children’s rights, human rights defenders and human rights and the environment lauded the Human Rights Council’s adoption of a resolution calling upon States “to provide a safe and empowering context for initiatives organized by young people and children to defend human rights relating to the environment.”
The Child Rights Committee together with the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders and the Special Rapporteur on the environment highlighted the importance of the resolution for children who are currently standing up for their right to a healthy and sustainable environment.
The human rights experts underscored the important role of human rights defenders, including child human rights defenders, in supporting States to fulfil their obligations under the Paris Agreement and to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2016 and 2018, the Child Rights Committee hosted discussion events with children, which among others produced the recommendation that child human rights defenders should be empowered and supported to express their views willingly, fully and without any fear, about environmental issues. Countries should also provide a safe and enabling environment for child human rights defenders to speak out and make recommendations about environmental issues.