News

Protecting the rights of young people

Published: 11 Nov 2021 14:04

Scotland signs up to UNICEF declaration on children, youth and climate action.

Scotland has committed to honour the rights of children in the fight against the climate crisis, by signing the UNICEF declaration on children, youth and climate action.

The declaration, which was drafted by children and young people, calls on signatories to uphold the priorities of children and youth throughout the world in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Signatories commit to advocating for children’s inalienable right to a healthy environment and to enhancing the meaningful participation of children and young people in climate change discussion and action.

Scotland recently hosted the UN Conference of Youth ahead of COP26 and has invested almost £1 million in a programme to engage young people in the climate conference and legacy activity.

The First Minister formally signed the declaration during COP26, and the launch event is being attended by the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Green Skills Lorna Slater. Scotland becomes the 28th country to have signed up so far.

The First Minister said:

“Children and young people are driving climate action and it is vital that we listen to their views and harness their passion at COP26 and beyond.

The global climate crisis is a children’s rights crisis.  So we must make sure that the rights of children and young people are promoted and protected as we tackle it. To do this, we have to give young people a place at the table and a role in decision-making, so they have a real voice in how we respond to a threat that will shape their lives.

“I am proud that Scotland is joining nations across the world in signing this declaration, and committing to listening to and respecting the needs and wishes of young people as we work to deliver the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

“Signing the Intergovernmental Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action is an important step all governments can take to formally recognise a child’s right to a healthy environment.

“Here in Scotland we are determined to deliver the highest protection possible for children’s rights, which is why we remain committed to becoming the first devolved nation in the world to directly incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law, to the maximum extent possible.”

Background

Read the declaration and view a full list of signatories at Declaration on Children, Youth and Climate Action | UNICEF