Child and Youth-Friendly Justice for the Climate Crisis: Relying on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
22 Pages Posted: 7 May 2022 Last revised: 13 May 2022
Date Written: April 13, 2022
The climate crisis is a human rights crisis, and there is perhaps no other group more affected than children. Children and youth have been key to climate activism and advocacy, gaining particular prominence since Greta Thunberg sparked a global movement in 2018. As well as engaging in numerous consultative fora such as COP26 and the drafting of a General Comment on the right of children to a healthy environment, they have gone on to become key litigators in climate cases/applications at both national and international level. However these justice processes are notoriously ill suited to the particular needs of children and youth. Child friendly justice is a concept which has been elaborated in recent years by the Council of Europe. Yet climate litigation is very different to the cases (e.g. in family law) in which children have traditionally been parties – amongst other things it can involve very public campaigns. This article considers child and youth friendly justice in the context of the climate crisis through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the concepts of access, participation, interests, and judgments.
Keywords: Convention on the Rights of the Child; youth climate activism; climate crisis; intergenerational justice; environmental rights
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