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Children and climate change

The ‘four pillars’ of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) - protection, survival, development and participation - establish the fundamental rationale to create opportunities for children’s voices to be heard in research, advocacy and policy on climate change and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

Under this framework, children should be in the forefront of climate change policy, advocacy and research. It is their right to participate in all matters that affect them. The increasing frequency of disasters and projections of likely impacts of climate change indicate that today’s children are especially vulnerable now and will bear the impacts of climate change over their lifetime.

Disaster preparedness, response and adaptation strategies need to be both child-centred and child-led. There is growing consensus amongst development agencies, research institutions and the UN that children’s voices have to be heard and taken seriously in climate change policy, as the decisions that are made today will affect their lives tomorrow.

Children who are aware, involved and empowered are potentially effective agents of change within communities to foster an appropriate approach to address climate change.

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This Key Issues Guide is produced in collaboration with Children in a Changing Climate – research, with financial support from Plan UK and the ESRC.