The governments of Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, or the “Core Group”, have put forth a resolution to recognize our right to a healthy environment at the Human Rights Council 48th Session (13 September- 8 October). On 8 October governments in the Human Rights Council will determine if they will adopt the resolution. Ahead of this moment, all governments, including those not in the Human Rights Council, have an opportunity to support the recognition of the right to a healthy environment.
On 5 October 2021, young people, business, civil society organizations, human rights institutions and other stakeholders, came together to host a press briefing demonstrating the widespread and global solidarity on the call for governments to support the universal recognition of the human right to a healthy environment.
During the event 23-year-old Environmental Activist Chimunya Mutombo from Zambia shared a statement on behalf of children and young people calling for their right to a healthy environment to be recognized by the United Nations. It was read by Nyasha Simon Dick, fellow Member of the Terres des Hommes International Youth Network.
Press briefing in response to UN Human Rights Council decision on “Right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment” at the end of its current 48th session, on October 8, 2021
Young people, business, human rights institutions and civil society organizations are joining forces to say time is now for a healthy environment for all
Statement by Chimunya Mutombo
Hi, I am Chimunya Mutombo from Zambia and I am an Environmental Activist and Member of the Terre des Hommes International Youth Network.
I am here today on behalf of children and young people calling for the universal recognition of our right to a healthy environment.
This includes the more than 144,000 children, young people and allies from over 140 countries who have signed the My Planet My Rights petition and the millions of children and young people marching, speaking up and taking action for a healthy environment for all.
Children and young people are among the most affected by the environmental crisis.
In my community, many children suffer from water borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea because they play in polluted places and drink contaminated water.
Just a few years ago, my neighbor’s child died due to cholera.
The call for recognizing the right to a healthy environment is a matter of children’s and young people’s right to health, clean water, play, education, development and a home…
It is a matter of our right to life.
As young people, our voices are often not paid much attention to. It is perceived that what we say doesn’t matter. But we are the new generation of decision-makers.
Governments have the choice to be on the right side of history. One that realizes our rights and ensures a promising life for children, young people and future generations.
We stand in strong solidarity with the governments that have declared their support for a healthy environment.
For all other governments: The time is now to universally recognize our right to a healthy environment for children and for all.