Youth Voice:

Climate Change and Children's Rights

Children and young people have a right to speak up about the issues that affect them – and for adults to listen and take their views seriously. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) also states that all children have the right to live in a safe and clean environment – and we know that the climate crisis is an issue children and young people are passionate about.

At the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), we try to promote children and young people’s voices in all we do. We want to make sure they are at the heart of our work on climate change and that they know about other opportunities to learn about climate change with different organisations. Find out more here.

What is COP26?

COP (the Conference of the Parties) is an annual climate summit attended by Leaders from all over the world.

COP26 took place in Glasgow in November 2021 and brought Leaders together to agree action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. You can read UNICEF UK’s response when the summit finished, here.

UNICEF UK has been working hard to make sure children and their futures will be protected from and prepared for the impacts of climate change and its effects – centring their voices and their rights. Find out more.

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What other initiatives could we get involved in?

There are many ways children and young people can learn about climate change and its effects – and how this impacts children’s rights:

  • Voices of Youth is UNICEF’s brilliant platform for young people to share their views about issues that affect them
  • In 2020/21 the OutRight resources were all focussed on this topic – if you’d like to use them in your setting, they’re still available to download
  • The COP26 team created lots of great resources you can use – a pack for schools is available here
  • World’s Largest Lesson have been encouraging children and young people to think about why climate change education is important
  • Add your voice to our call for the UK Government to sign up to the Declaration on Climate Action, Children and Youth
  • Check out and share the Votes for Schools report amplifying children and young people’s concerns about climate change and children’s rights
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