Zum Inhalt springen

Sie sind hier:

Protection of the environment

Good practice 1:
Sewoh Hesco - Improvement of food self-sufficiency

read more

Good practice 2:
Children take a leading role in urban good living

read more

Good practice 3:
Our rivers, our life
Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam

read more

Environmental protection constitutes a fundamental element for the implementation of the right of the child to a healthy environment. Environmental discourse and negotiations were not marked by a »rights language« at first. Rather, the human rights lens was introduced in relatively recent times, as the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio (1992) determined a shift in its approach to environmental protection. After that, environmental protection measures have adopted a rights language, for law and policies to be implemented.  

However, it is important that children and young people themselves can access justice and legal remedies when their rights are violated. Yet, it is extremely difficult to do so. Therefore, states need to ensure that complaint procedures are available nationally for all children, by following the principle of the best interest of the child.

The participation of children in decision-making processes helps policy makers make well-informed choices. With the input provided by children themselves, policy makers have wider and more in-depth knowledge on the thoughts, feelings, and needs of the children concerning the environment and the right to live in a healthy and ecologically sustainable planet.

Activities aimed at environmental protection can be varied in nature, depending on the context and the communities involved. What did we find from the good practices identified? 

  • A child-rights based approach to environmental protection activities is important, above all the participation of children and young people.  
  • Advocacy for the protection of natural resources such as forests and rivers plays a central role to promote the right of the child to a healthy environment as part of environmental protection projects.
  • Often the protection of the environment is brought forward by »environmental human rights defenders«. They are often at risk of being subjected to abuses and violations. Practices and projects aiming at involving children and young people in the protection of the environment have to follow the »do no harm« principle and fully understand the context in which they operate.
  • Access to clean water and sustainable farming – both contributing factors to food security - constitute fundamental elements of good practices in the field of environmental protection. Also, recycling practices and garbage collection constitute important activities aiming to enhance the protection and respect of the environment. 

Transforming traditions in India
Through strong advocacy and campaigning, youth groups for the environment successfully changed practices for the Diwali festival in an eco-friendly way. Diwali, »the festival of lights«, lasts 5 days and takes its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that people light outside their homes to symbolise the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. The festival can also change depending on the region where it takes place and vary slightly in its practices, some children also fly kites. In particular, the young people insisted on revisiting the practice of flying kites which was not only polluting the environment but also endangering wildlife, especially birds.

Top Tips for child rights programming

Programming on environmental protection should be conducted in line with a child rights-based approach and include the following: 

  • Engagement of children as agents, actors, and right-holders. They are the advocates of their own rights and the rights of others, depending on the circumstances.
  • Consider the importance of a multi-level approach to environmental protection: from grass-roots movements to policy development and enforcement.
  • Promote rights-based children’s participation in activities of environmental protection bearing in mind the importance of inclusion and non-discrimination.
  • Implement the ‘Do no harm’ principle in all activities where children and young people are involved: their safety and security should always be promoted along with participation.
  • Strategies for environmental protection and promotion of the right of the child to a healthy environment should be implemented both in the short-term (with survival as the primary aim) and in the medium/long-term (development here is the underlying objective), depending on the context.
  • Conducting a children’s rights risk analysis is a good practice to assess potential rights violations in future scenarios, throughout the child rights programming phases.
Zurück zum Seitenanfang

Bleiben Sie doch noch einen Moment –
und abonnieren Sie unseren Newsletter!

Jetzt anmelden!

Bleiben Sie informiert.
Abonnieren Sie unseren Newsletter!

Jetzt anmelden!