Climate crisis

Child rights crisis

The climate crisis is a child rights crisis.

Climate change is having a dramatic impact on children and their rights. One billion children are at ‘extremely high risk’ from the impacts of the climate crisis.

UNICEF’s new report, The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index, is the first comprehensive analysis of climate risk from a child’s perspective. It ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks, such as cyclones and heatwaves, as well as their vulnerability to those shocks, based on their access to essential services.

Launched in collaboration with Fridays for Future, on the third anniversary of the youth-led global climate strike movement, the report finds approximately 1 billion children – nearly half the world’s 2.2 billion children – live in one of the 33 countries classified as “extremely high-risk”.

These children face a deadly combination of exposure to multiple climatic and environmental shocks with a high vulnerability due to inadequate essential services, such as water and sanitation, healthcare, and education. The findings reflect the number of children impacted today – figures likely to get worse as the impacts of climate change accelerate.

Read The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index

Download the full report

THE UK GOVERNMENT MUST ACT NOW

The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. We’re at a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. We need urgent action now to secure a future for children.

At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November, the UK Government must listen to children and lead the world in acting on their views. They must formally recognize a child’s right to a healthy environment, help create innovative solutions for flexible and resilient child rights systems, and ensure that businesses act to protect the most vulnerable children from climate change.

At COP26, the United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) calls on the UK Government to:

  • Meet its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and encourage other high-income countries to make a similar pledge
  • Listen to and recognise the views of children and young people on climate change. both in the lead up to COP26 and in decisions taken at COP26
  • Officially recognise the climate crisis as a child rights crisis, and recognise children’s right to a healthy environment by signing the Intergovernmental Declaration on Children Youth and Climate Action
  • Launch a technical facility on climate displacement and child rights, comprised of practitioners, experts, academics, youth, civil society, and government representatives from across the health, education, migration, and climate sectors to share knowledge and best practice on tackling this crisis for children;
  • Officially recognise the importance of ensuring business’s respect for child rights in any transition to a green economy.

ABOUT THE REPORT

The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index is the first comprehensive analysis of climate risk from a child’s perspective. It ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks, such as cyclones and heatwaves, as well as their vulnerability to those shocks, based on their access to essential services.

It was developed in collaboration with several partners including the Data for Children Collaborative in Edinburgh – www.dataforchildrencollaborative.com

In order to make the report more accessible to global youth, UNICEF also collaborated with Climate Cardinals, an international youth-led non-profit organisation that translates climate change research and information so that they can reach as many young people and leaders as possible.

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The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. And we’re at a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. Support our petition asking the UK Government to sign the Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action.

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Boy at a flooded camp for people displaced by conflict in Syria