From December 2021 – 2023, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is hosting a series of offline and online consultations and workshops with the global community, including specific consultations with children and young people, to inform the General Comment on Children’s Rights and the Environment with a Special Focus on Climate Change (General Comment No. 26) launching in 2023.
Consultations inform the content and shape the draft of the General Comment, specifically on the obligations of States to uphold children’s rights in the environmental context. They help fill gaps in our current understanding of certain key issues and clarify difficult concepts (e.g. rights of future generations). They most importantly, integrate the voices of children and young people and the most impacted by the issue.
The findings will also be used to create a Children’s Global Charter, an inspirational message from children around the world on their vision for a safe, healthy and sustainable world that respects their rights. This will be made up of children’s own words and artwork and be launched alongside General Comment No. 26 to raise awareness of why it is so important for children.
Consultations take the form of:
- Online consultations: The public is invited to share their views on the content and first draft of the General Comment. This will be done through two types of online questionnaires and open submission forms that will be circulated widely. The first seeks answers on a broad set of topics on children’s rights and the environment that will inform the creation of the General Comment first draft. The second will request feedback on the first draft of the General Comment. Both questionnaires will have a child and youth version in order to collect their specific perspectives.
- Thematic workshops: We will bring together experts, young and old, to discuss specific topics related to children’s rights and the environment, including intergenerational equity, the right to a healthy environment and climate change. These discussions will help form the content that will be included in the first draft of the General Comment.
- Regional and local workshops: Once the first draft of the General Comment is developed, workshops will be hosted with children and young people and the global community across regions and sectors. These workshops will provide the Committee with opportunities to ensure regional priorities are considered in the final version. It will also ensure children and young people from marginalised backgrounds are supported to participate in the drafting process.
CONSULTATIONS ON CONTENT
ONLINE CONSULTATION + THEMATIC WORKSHOPS
17 December 2021 – 15 February 2022: Global Community
31 March 2022 – 30 June 2022: Children and Young People
CONSULTATIONS ON DRAFT
ONLINE CONSULTATION + REGIONAL & LOCAL WORKSHOPS
15 November 2022 – 15 February 2023: Global Community
15 November 2022 – 15 February 2023: Children and Young People
2023: General Comment No. 26 Launch