Day of General Discussion: Children’s Rights and the Environment

During its 69th session, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the body of independent experts responsible for reviewing progress made by States parties in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, decided to devote its 2016 general discussion day to the issue of children’s rights and the environment. It will take place on Friday, 23 September 2016, during the 73rd session of the Committee at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The purpose of General Discussion Days is to foster a deeper understanding of the contents and implications of the Convention as they relate to specific articles or topics. Representatives of Governments, non-governmental organizations, United Nations human rights mechanisms, United Nations bodies and specialized agencies, national human rights institutions, the business sector, as well as individual experts and children are welcome to take part. The Committee also encourages the submission of written contributions, to be sent by 31 July 2016, please click on this link for more information.

Overall objective of the 2016 DGD

To promote understanding of the relationship between children’s rights and the environment; identify what needs to be done for child rights-related laws, policies and practices to take adequate account of environmental issues; and for environment-related laws, policies and practices to be child-sensitive.

Specific objectives of the 2016 DGD

  1. Address key aspects of the relationship between children’s rights and the environment by examining (a) how damage to the environment negatively affects children’s rights, including the rights of children in vulnerable situations, and (b) how children of different ages, gender and social backgrounds can participate in decisions and actions to prevent, respond and adapt to environmental harm.
  2. Clarify the obligations of States and other actors, particularly the business sector, regarding the rights of the child in relation to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, including access to justice when harm has been caused, and how to prevent harm in the long term;
  3. Assess the current status of environmental issues in child rights–related laws, policies and practices, and, vice versa, of children’s rights in laws, policies and practices related to the environment, including by identifying gaps and good examples;
  4. Provide guidance on how to integrate a comprehensive child rights-based approach into environment-related laws, policies and practices (e.g. environmental impact assessments);
  5. Provide substantive information to facilitate the Committee’s dialogue with and recommendations to States parties on issues relating to children’s rights and the environment;
  6. Offer a platform for dialogue between participants and promote exchange of knowledge and experience, and collaboration between relevant actors dealing with children’s rights and environmental protection, thereby complementing recent developments related to human rights and the environment in other forums.

Attending the Day of Discussion

For organizational purposes, all participants are asked to fill out a registration form, which can be downloaded from the OHCHR website:

The deadline for registration with the Secretariat by e-mail ([email protected]) or fax (+41 22 917-9008) is 1 September 2016.

Due to limited space (max. 250 participants), please note that organizations are strongly encouraged to limit participation in this event to a maximum of three representatives. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received the final confirmation from the Secretariat of the Committee.

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