Children demand ecological rights ahead of COP-27

Children say ‘Nothing about us children without us children’
7 Nov 2022
0 mins read
Millions of children face the brunt of climate change in their day to day lives. There Is No Planet B (Image: Blaine O'Neill; Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0)
Millions of children face the brunt of climate change in their day to day lives. There Is No Planet B (Image: Blaine O'Neill; Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Ahead of the Conference on Climate Change COP 27 at Egypt, PRATYeK, a registered organization with UN ECOSOC status, known for its national child led-advocacy initiative NINEISMINE, hosted an online event NO COP OUT on November 4 and 5, along with coalition partners World Vision India, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, Vanshakti, Save the Children, Kids 4 Tiger, Brian Rhyme, INECC, Terres des Homes Switzerland, Child Rights Connect Geneva and Edmund Rice International, Geneva. 

NO COP OUT is an attempt to involve children in policy decision-making that will influence the lives of 2.2 billion children globally. Talking about the event, Steve Rocha, the National Convenor of NINEISMINE, stated that “Each generation is given an opportunity to change the course of history, children seek to be at the forefront of this historic moment to reverse climate change which demands their ecological rights and those of mother Earth”.

World delegates from countries including Canada, UK, Denmark, Germany, amongst others, who are participating in COP 27 met children at this event and interacted with them. More than 600 children had registered for this online consultation.

The Conference of Parties (COP 27) will see member nations of the UNFCC discussing methods to combat the global climate crisis focussing on carbon emission reduction, clean energy, technology transfers and carbon financing.

No COP OUT event was intended to impact a major policy document from the United Nations, called General Comment 26 to recognise the ecological rights of children.

Karthik Verma (16) a young delegate from Uttar Pradesh, a member of the NINEISMINE campaign who presented the Ad Vocal report at the event expressed. “I request each of you to use this report to access teaching tools and the learning advocacy toolkit to be a learner today, for a greener tomorrow.” Karthik will also be representing India as a delegate in Egypt and at the General Comment 26 to be held at Geneva in February’23.

The AD VOCAL report cum toolkit created over a year has opinions gathered from 3500 adolescent voices across the globe seeking ecological rights for children. Children have presented their recommendations to improve the ecological rights of children and covered -

  • Right to green child-specific risk and impact assessments
  • Right to holistic green education
  • Right to adequate green information
  • Right to genuine expression and participation
  • Right to recover and complain
  • Right to protection when vulnerable
  • Right to best green laws and standards
  • Right to expect good green governance
  • Right to corporate earth responsibility
  • Right to green budgets and green policies

“We may not be voters, but if vote is an acronym for voice of the empowered, then we choose to be that and the voice of the earth, voice of the endangered (Species), voice of the excluded (children), we will vote with our voices. We will vote with our feet” says Priya (17), Prime Minister, National Inclusive Children’ Parliament, India.

This event echoes the voice of children as they state ‘Nothing about us children without us children’ particularly in relation to their present and their future.

This coalition of NGO’s works behind the scenes to recognize children as primary stakeholders of our communities and provides them with local, national and international forums to effectively engage with policymakers while ensuring the effective implementation.

Commenting on the initiative, Salmon Jacob, Head of Climate Change, from World Vision India says, “World Vision India strives to empower children with the right knowledge for environmental protection, and provides them with appropriate platforms to express their thoughts. We encourage them to take action for environmental protection and sustainable development for all.”


About the coalition partners

PRATYeK is a child rights organization that convenes the national campaign called NINEISMINE.  An initiative of, for, and by the children of India towards the realization of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the UN Global Goals, and the Earth Charter. Launched in 2006, the campaign was supported and promoted by the UN. PRATYeK started working on the model of the Children's Parliament in the year 2013. PRATYeK and NINEISMINE have a vibrant network of over 100 neighbourhood Children's Parliament with a network with over 1000 Child Rights Organisations and schools across India and one federated National Inclusive Children's Parliament.

World Vision India is one of the country’s largest child-focused humanitarian organisations. With over seven decades of experience at the grassroots, it employs proven, effective development, public engagement and relief practices empowering vulnerable children and communities living in contexts of poverty and injustice to become self-sufficient and bring lasting change.

Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA) is a national civil society platform initiated in 2004, following the World Social Forum in Mumbai with the aim to ‘monitor governance accountability to eliminate poverty and social exclusion in India’. Over 3,000 civil society organizations and network members are associated with WNTA.

Vanashakti aims to conserve the forests, wetlands, wildlife corridors, habitats, through education and litigation to achieve its objectives of creating awareness about environmental topics, protecting and reviving rivers and preventing opencast mining in areas that are well-endowed with biodiversity.

Terre des hommes is an international children's rights charitable humanitarian umbrella organization under the aegis of the International Federation of Terre des Hommes (TDHIF). It was founded in 1960 by Edmond Kaiser in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Save the Children is an international non-governmental organization, established in the United Kingdom in 1919, to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. The organisation promotes policy changes to gain more rights for young people especially by enforcing the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

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