Children’s right to a healthy ocean
All of children’s human rights depend on a healthy ocean. Therefore, ocean degradation is a major threat to the protection and enjoyment of children’s human rights. We need to refrain from carrying out or permitting activities that may lead to marine biodiversity loss or degradation of the ocean’s healthy, as they will result in foreseeable negative impacts on children’s rights to life, survival, development, health, culture and play.
But how the ocean and children’s human rights are connected remains very unexplored, and is not considered explicitly in many UN documents.
Our research indicates that:
• Children’s human rights need to be at the heart of inclusive and integrated ocean governance
• Any decision on the ocean should be fair across generations to ensure long-term protection of the marine environment for the benefit of all.
• Children should be listened to in the current negotiations on climate, plastics, deep-seabed mining, and marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction
• There is an urgent need to develop child-friendly information on the ocean and climate, and to develop procedures for youth to take part in relevant decisions
• Education needs to include the ocean as part of the global climate biodiversity and toxics crisis to empower children to take action.
Explore key dates so far
22 August 2023
New UN General Comment on Children’s Rights and a Healthy Environment released: here
Maastricht Principles on the Human Rights of Future Generations published found here
15 February 2023
Deadline for submission of comments on the zero draft found here.
15 November 2022
Zero draft of the UN General Comment on Children’s Human Rights and a Healthy Environment includes a reference to the marine environment
Ocean included in UNEP course for 13-15 years old on Children’s Human Rights and a Healthy Ocean
March- August 2022
The Hub provides inputs on the importance of a healthy ocean to the first round of consultations on the UN General Comment on Children’s Human Rights and a Healthy Environment
The Hub is invited to join the Core Group of Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (CERI)
Young people’s voices at Glasgow Climate COP emphasize the ocean-climate nexus
The One Ocean Hub starts raising awareness of the inter-dependence of children’s human rights and a healthy ocean
Overview of our activities
Voices from local children
The sea can invade our homes, especially at midnight when we are sleeping. We the children are the ones being affected mostly by the tidal waves so we might be able to suggest solutions to solve these problems.
Watch Camila’s video message from COP27 here
Camila, 12 years old, Kedzi, Ghana
I wouldn’t want to see a future where our children’s children or our children won’t be able to experience the ocean like we have. If we continue the way we are going, we will pollute the ocean, we will pollute the land around the ocean. And that will destroy it.
Yaseen, 18 years old, Gqeberh, South Africa