Climate Change and the Rights of the Child: Explaining the New General Comment 26

Webinar

Thursday 21st September, 2023

1.00pm-2.00pm AEST

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The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has just issued important new legal guidance on children’s rights and the environment, with a special focus on climate change. CRC General Comment No. 26 calls for urgent action to address the effects of climate change on children, and provides new clarity on the obligations of the state regarding legislative, administrative and other measures related to environmental issues and climate change as they affect children.

This new General Comment comes at a critical time for action and litigation on the climate emergency. It addresses the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, the rights of future generations, and the obligations of states General Comment 26 is the outcome of over 18 months of global consultations with young people, scientists, lawyers and experts. Governments will now be expected to apply General Comment 26 to their implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This webinar – the first of a short series on General Comment 26 – continues the child rights webinar series aimed at developing greater knowledge and understanding of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the obligations of states.

Aniva Clarke will talk about the significance of General Comment 26 for young people today, and how it will help address climate issues in the future. She will draw from her own personal experience growing up in Samoa, to highlight the urgency of action for young people in the Pacific. Noam Peleg will provide an overview of the General Comment and explain its significance in assisting with litigation in cases dealing with the impact of climate change on children’s rights now and into the future.

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

Speakers

Aniva Clarke from Samoa is an environmental activist and one of 12 youth advisors on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Children's Advisory Team, established to facilitate youth consultations on children's rights, the environment and climate change.

Noam Peleg is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW. Noam's work focuses on international children’s rights law and its intersection with human rights law, childhood studies, and family law. Noam is the Book Review Editor and member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Children’s Rights. Before moving to academia, Noam practiced law in a number of human rights NGOs, specializing in representing children in courts.

Moderator

Dr Noam Peleg, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW, Book Review Editor, The International Journal of Children's Rights.

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