The climate crisis is a threat multiplier for violence against children.
The climate crisis is one of the major global challenges of our time. We are facing a new normal of rising sea levels, devastating floods, cyclones, air pollution, global warming, and extreme weather events, among others. Yet children – who bear the least responsibility for the climate crisis – are among those hit hardest by its impacts. Around the world, 820 million (over one-third of the world’s children) are highly exposed to heatwaves, four hundred million (nearly 1 in 6) to cyclones, 330 million (1 in 7) to river flooding, 240 million (1 in 10) to coastal flooding, and 920 million (over one third) to a lack of water. A paradigm shift is needed as a matter of urgency. This must be based on the inclusion of children as part of the solution, far greater investment in their well-being, and child-sensitive climate laws and policies that are backed by adequate resources and monitoring. According to UNICEF, only 42% of all nationally determined contributions contain direct references to children or young people, only 20% contain a specific mention of children, and less than 2% mention their rights. Far more needs to be done to ensure child-sensitive responses to the climate crisis.