Climate change, the rights of children, and the duty of care


Thursday, 29th July, 2021

4.00pm-5.00pm AEST

This event has concluded

This is the seventh in a series of webinars striving to develop greater knowledge and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In response to the Government’s report on the implementation of the Convention in Australia, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child emphasised “… that the effects of climate change have an undeniable impact on children’s rights…” It was also “concerned about the State party’s insufficient progress on climate goals and targets committed to in the Paris Climate Agreement and its continuing investment in extractive industries, in particular coal”.

Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate Change, year 11 school girl Anjali Sharma started an Instagram account that soon gained 12,000 followers. With the help of a Brigidine nun and seven other children from around Australia, Anjali Sharma went to court claiming the government’s approval of a mine in NSW would violate its duty of care to young people who will be impacted by climate change. The court’s judgement in their favour has been hailed around the world.

This webinar will be an opportunity to learn more about this landmark case – and to consider how explicit reference to Australia’s obligations under the CRC may have affected the claim and judgement.

NOTE: At least half an hour will be allocated for questions and answers, and comments


Anjali Sharma heard from relatives in India how changes in the monsoon brought about by global warming was impoverishing her farming family there. She became a climate activist and joined other young people to organise climate action marches around Australia. She juggles her climate activism with her attendance at Huntingtower School, in Mount Waverley, Victoria.

Dr Noam Peleg is a Senior Lecturer at UNSW and an expert on the CRC. He has written extensively on State obligations under the Convention and the legal status of the treaty in domestic jurisdictions. He has written that the court’s decision in the Sharma case “again ignored … other dimensions of Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, that upholds the principle of the best interests of the child”.


Associate Professor Faith Gordon, Deputy Associate Dean of Research, ANU College of Law, The Australian National University and Director of the International Youth Justice Network.

Who should attend

All welcome. The webinar will be of particular interest to:

  • NGOs
  • Federal, state and territory government officials interested in how to implement the CRC
  • Indigenous rights advocates
  • Children’s rights commissioners and staff
  • Social and children’s services providers and practitioners
  • Students and members of the public

Webinar Recording

Links and resources

Presentation by Dr. Noam Peleg, Senior Lecturer at UNSW and child rights expert, at the 7th CRC Webinar, in conjunction with Youth Law Australia, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and the Human Rights Institute.

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