The climate crisis is a children’s crisis

De klimaatcrisis is een kindercrisis

Approximately 1 billion children, nearly half of the world’s children, live in countries facing extreme climate risks. Children, with their unique developmental needs, are particularly susceptible to the consequences of global warming. Factors such as water and food shortages, disease, and physical and psychological trauma resulting from extreme weather events and slow-onset disasters, such as drought, can have long-lasting effects on children. Climate change disrupts their access to education, healthcare, safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, and child protection services.

Climate-related disasters also lead to an increase in child labour, child marriage, and forced migration, placing children at risk of human trafficking, gender-based violence, abuse, and exploitation. These challenges disproportionately affect certain children, including those with disabilities, girls, the most impoverished, and those from minority backgrounds within their own countries.

The rights of the child, as established in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), aim to safeguard children, promote their well-being, and enable them to reach their full potential. The climate crisis jeopardizes these fundamental rights, as a healthy environment is essential for their realization.

Children deserve a future in which they can thrive, and it is the duty of current generations, including governments, to ensure this. This is why we are marching for the Climate.

We urge the government to:

  1. Enable active participation of children in climate policy: It is crucial to involve children and youth in decisions that shape their future. The government must establish mechanisms for children and youth to contribute to climate-related decision-making, leveraging their unique perspectives and insights for sustainable and effective solutions.
  • Integrate children’s rights into all climate-related policies and action plans: When developing and implementing climate strategies and action plans, governments must systematically consider children’s rights. This involves assessing the potential impact of climate actions on children and ensuring that these actions promote their well-being and protect their rights, particularly within Developmental Aid to low- and middle-income countries where children are already feeling the impacts and are especially vulnerable.
  • Advocate for ambitious commitments at COP28: The world is falling short of the goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. During the upcoming climate summit, existing plans will be evaluated, and new agreements will be forged. We call for a reduction of European CO2 emissions by at least 60% (compared to 1990 levels), adequate funding for climate adaptation in areas and communities affected by climate change, and the establishment of a climate damage fund that specifically considers the impact on children.