Rights at Risk

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These essential rights of children are directly threatened by climate change, and generations of children now and in the future may be denied their rights to survival, development, protection, and participation in society.


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It is estimated that over the next decade approximately million children a year will be affected by climate-related disasters, in the next two decades from Children are recognized as most vulnerable to its impacts and should therefore be in the forefront of climate change policy, advocacy and research - and yet they still are not. Furthermore, it is their right to participate in all matters that affect them - and yet this rarely happens. Children are the least responsible for the causes of climate change and yet they will unfairly inherit a legacy they did not choose.

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The estimated impacts of climate change on children are substantial, work against development objectives, can set back progress for child rights attained, and yet remain critically missing from the climate policy dialogues and responses. However, a critical opportunity has not yet been fully explored which may be able to elevate attention to children's issues related to climate change. The Convention unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly in recognizes the human rights of children, defined as any person under the age of 18, and sets out in detail what every child needs to have for a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood.

The CRC is the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty in history, in total governments have ratified it. It enshrines specific child rights in legally-binding international law and defines universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide.

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However, child rights are exposed to climate risks and will become harder particularly for developing countries to maintain their commitments to the CRC. Although all child rights may be affected, 15 rights are particularly at risk from climate change related setbacks, and described in the table below. Four reasons why an integrated approach can be useful include: 1.

Governments have ratified and have obligations under the CRC countries have ratified the CRC and are consequently under obligation to uphold each individual child rights article.


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This means that governments have a legally bound responsibility to take action on climate change to ensure it does not infringe on child rights nationally. The CRC puts obligations on governments to ensure that the children in their country are having their rights upheld. In addition, article 24 and General Comment 5 also put obligations on developed countries to take action on upholding child rights in developing countries. The ban applies even in cases of rape and incest and puts doctors at risk of imprisonment for up to 99 years for trying to help women.

States across the U.

Women’s Rights at Risk

Georgia, Ohio, and Mississippi recently passed legislation making abortion illegal past six weeks into pregnancy, a time when the vast majority of women are not aware they are pregnant. Many legal observers predict these bans will set up court battles meant to overturn Roe v. The US has been exporting anti-choice measures as well. As a result, millions of women worldwide will be shut off from comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Limitations to abortion rights in the U. We know that lack of accessibility to abortion does not reduce the number of abortions. In fact, the rates of unsafe abortion are highest where there are the most restrictions.

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Salem is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington who was arrested while conducting dissertation research in Cairo in May and detained without charge until December