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Tomorrow’s stewards: the case for a unified international framework on the environmental rights of children

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Title: Tomorrow’s stewards: the case for a unified international framework on the environmental rights of children
Authors: Makuch, K
Zaman, S
Aczel, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: This paper evaluates an approach for strengthening environmental rights for children to safeguard child health. We focus on children as beneficiaries of environmental rights on account of their vulnerability to environmental impacts on their physical and mental health. Current legal frameworks, unless explicitly identifying children as beneficiaries, arguably tend to be adult-centric. Our goal here is to develop a comprehensive rights-based framework to ensure that children are protected against adverse environmental impacts. We argue that approaches that safeguard children’s rights to life, health, and education should include environment-related issues, standards, and protections for those rights to be fully implemented. We propose employing sustainable development as a framework under which to develop an international treaty to promulgate the environmental rights of the child, thereby promoting health, environmental stewardship, and quality of life for children and future generations. We further argue that children’s environmental rights extend beyond basic “needs”—such as clean air, clean water, sanitation, and a healthful environment, among others—to include the right to benefit from access to nature of a certain quality and the wealth of educational, recreational, developmental, and health benefits that come with ensuring protection of the environment for children.
Issue Date: 12-Jun-2019
Date of Acceptance: 20-May-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/70644
ISSN: 1079-0969
Publisher: Harvard School of Public Health
Start Page: 203
End Page: 214
Journal / Book Title: Health and Human Rights: an international journal
Volume: 21
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Makuch, Zaman, and Aczel. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Sponsor/Funder: Imperial College London President's Scholarship
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Child Health
Environmental Exposure
Environmental Health
Global Health
Human Rights
International Cooperation
Environmental Health
Environmental Exposure
International Cooperation
Human Rights
Global Health
Child Health
Human Rights
Environmental Health
Environmental Rights
Environment and Public Health
International Law
Environmental Law
Environmental Policy
1801 Law
Public Health
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://cdn2.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/125/2019/06/Aczel.pdf
Online Publication Date: 2019-06-12
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences