On 31 August 2021 the governments of Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, or the “Core Group”, hosted a workshop consulting with experts, governments and civil society, to help inform their decision to put forth the resolution for the right to a healthy environment during the Human Rights Council 48th Session.
During the session Levy Muwanah, a Youth Advocate and Environmentalist from Zambia, shared a statement highlighting the impact of the environmental crisis on children and young people worldwide, as well as the widespread support of the Core Group’s leadership on advancing the recognition of the human right to a healthy environment.
In view of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council
Workshop on the Right to a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment
Statement by Levy Muwanah
Hello, my name is Levy Muwana from Zambia and I am a Youth Advocate and Environmentalist.
I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the governments of Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland and other stakeholders present today for your leadership in recognizing our right to a healthy environment. We stand in solidarity with you.
To all others, I encourage you to follow their lead.
As a young child, I was affected with bilharzia, a parasitic disease, because I was playing in the dirty water near my household. A few years later, a girl died in my community from cholera. These events are sadly common and occurring more often. Water-born infectious diseases are increasing worldwide, especially across sub-Saharan Africa, due to the changing climate.
My story is not unique. Millions of children worldwide are significantly impacted by the devastating consequences of the environmental crisis. In fact, every year, over 1.7 million children die from inhaling contaminated air or drinking polluted water. That is why I and over 100,000 children, young people and allies from across the globe have signed the My Planet My Rights petition calling for our right to a healthy environment to be recognized.
Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland and all other governments: The time is now to take the important step to recognize our right to a healthy environment for children and for all.