Global Youth Network Summit on Climate Change and Health

On 10 July 2020, the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative (CERI) was delighted to join children, young people and UN experts from around the world for the virtual Global Youth Network Summit on Climate Change and Health. The Summit was organised by the Ashley Lashley Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office and CERI, as part of the Healthy and Environment-friendly Youth (HEY!) Campaign – a Caribbean-initiated project which sets out to build bridges between young people from around the world.

Taking place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, interactive discussions addressed critical questions around how to secure a greener, healthier and safer future, including securing children’s right to live in a safe and healthy environment, inclusion and disabilities, initiatives led by children and young people, and COVID-19.

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment David Boyd provided a special video message to participants, and CERI spoke alongside a member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ms Faith Marshall Harris, and Sakina Mohsini, an inspiring 16-year old activist from Afghanistan, as part of a session dedicated to children’s environmental rights.

Other speakers ranged from Licypriya Kangujam, a passionate 8-year-old climate activist from India, to Selwin Hart, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Climate Action, the Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, and high school graduate Lucy Meyer, five-time Special Olympics gold medalist and Official Spokesperson for the Special Olympics-UNICEF USA Partnership. Child and youth activists also joined from Afghanistan, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Fiji, India, Sierra Leone, the United States and numerous Caribbean islands.


“We recognise that children are a powerful agent for change on the most pressing global challenges that we face, including those related to the environment and climate change.”

– Selwin Hart, UN Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Climate Action


“People tell me that I am too young to get involved in climate activism, but I prove to them that age doesn’t prevent me from making a difference. I am a girl child, I’m strong, I’m smart, I’m brave!”

– Licypriya Kangujam, 8-year old climate activist


“People with disabilities need to be involved in shaping climate-smart solutions and action-planning. Often people with disabilities may not understand what they need to do to protect themselves, and if they do understand, they might not be able to physically do it without help…We must be part of the conversation and ensure that all people with disabilities have what they need to stay safe.”

– Lucy Meyer, Official Spokesperson for the Special Olympics-UNICEF USA Partnership

Find Out More & Take Action

Watch the video “For Every Child, there is a Healthier and Safer Future”

You can watch this video in FRENCH and SPANISH



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