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GI-ESCR Contributed to General Comment on Children’s Rights and the Environment by the Committee on the Rights of the Child

GI-ESCR Contributed to General Comment on Children’s Rights and the Environment by the Committee on the Rights of the Child

The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR) submitted a written contribution to inform the draft General Comment No. 26 on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Following the invitation by the CRC to stakeholders to present inputs and comments on the draft General Comment, GI-ESCR presented a submission aiming to strengthen the draft’s considerations on just transitions and highlight critical issues that are central to children’s rights approaches to environmental justice. In particular, the inputs to the draft covered the following two issues:

First, the inputs presented relate to the risks and opportunities that the transition to renewable energy represents for the realisation of children’s rights. GI-ESCR highlighted that renewable energy has the potential to undermine or hinder children’s rights. In particular, GI-ESCR stressed that large-scale renewable energy projects have already replicated harmful extractive practices that amount to human rights abuses. Thus, to prevent the shift to renewable energy from replicating existing inequalities or creating new human rights abuses, those leading the transformation should follow human rights principles. In that regard, GI-ESCR emphasised that the standards to guide the development of a global energy system are to be found in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Second, the submission puts to the consideration of the Committee the importance of combating the commercialisation of public services on education and health to respect, protect and realise children’s rights. In this regard, GI-ESCR underscored that market-based public services are unsustainable, especially in times of crisis. For instance, GI-ESCR gave the example of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the widespread closure of private schools and private education companies undergoing bailout plans left millions of children without a school, deepening structural inequalities in access to education. Consequently, given the impact of crises to come due to climate change, GI-ESCR underlined that to respect, protect and realise children’s economic, social, and cultural rights amidst climate change and broader planetary emergencies, States must ensure properly funded and quality public services.

The submission aimed to contribute to a landmark tool that further clarifies international human rights obligations derived from the Convention on the

Rights of the Child and provide guidance for States on how to address the severe impacts of the climate crisis on children’s rights.

You may read the submission here:

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