CRC/C/GC/26: General Comment No. 26 (2023) on Children’s Rights and the Environment With a Special Focus on Climate Change

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child


The extent and magnitude of the triple planetary crisis, comprising the climate emergency, the collapse of biodiversity and pervasive pollution, is an urgent and systemic threat to children’s rights globally. The efforts of children to draw attention to environmental crises created the motivation and were the momentum behind this general comment. The Committee benefited from the contributions of children at its 2016 day of general discussion on children’s rights and the environment . A diverse and dedicated children’s advisory team supported the consultation process undertaken for the general comment, with 16,331 contributions from children , from 121 countries, through online surveys, focus groups and in-person national and regional consultations. The Committee also received inputs from States, experts and other stakeholders through two rounds of consultations on the concept note and first draft of the general comment.


In this general comment, the Committee emphasizes the urgent need to address the adverse effects of environmental degradation, with a special focus on climate change, on the enjoyment of children’s rights, and clarifies the obligations of States to address environmental harm and climate change. The Committee also explains how children’s rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child apply to environmental protection, and confirms that children have a right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

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