HOW THE REPORT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER
The report is “significant” because it shows another aspect of human rights law which is reminding governments that for children to be able to enjoy their fundamental human rights, climate change and environmental issues need to be addressed, said Mr Grip Bueta, fellow at Parabukas, a consultancy focused on environment-related laws and policies.
However, the document could have been more specific in its recommendations, he said, noting that among its criticisms is that it could have been more forceful in the way it tells governments and businesses to respect and protect children’s rights.
Dr Fry said that the report uses “bureaucratic” language that needs to be worked into a way that everybody can understand.
“It probably doesn’t go far enough. It really doesn’t state clear obligations on governments and business to really take strong action. I think more needs to be done,” he said.
The report is a “very important first step” in getting all countries to agree that governments have a legal responsibility to ensure that children can grow up with clean water, in an environment that protects them, said Prof Hayward, noting that they may potentially face consequences in court potentially if this responsibility is not met.
“While it doesn’t go far enough, (it) is a very important first step and a big journey to make the world better for children and young people,” she said.