Youth Advocating for Environmental Protection

July 29, 2020

What does this have to do with human rights?

Children and youth have the right to a clean and safe environment, according to Article #24 of the United Nation’s Convention of the Right to the Child (CRC). When children and youth learn about environmental protection and advocate for the environment in their communities, they enable all young people to enact their right to a safe and clean environment. A safe environment builds stronger communities.

1. Lillooet, BC

During the Climate Action Teen Workshop Series at Chillaxin Youth Centre in Lillooet BC, youth gathered over meals to learn from local environmental experts, allowing them to enact their right to take environmental protection into their own hands. In their own words, the goal of the workshop series was “to raise awareness and to educate youth and our community about responsible actions in daily life to help protect our environment, to reduce and prevent littering and to encourage more recycling in our homes, schools, offices and businesses in Lillooet and surrounding areas”. Youth participated in various community events to raise awareness about environmental issues in their community, which ended with a Community Spring Clean-up Work Bee, which ended with adult and youth participants who gathered 4 truck-loads of garbage/empty bottles for disposal and recycling.

2. YWCA Quebec - Centre Filles Mobile, Québec Québec

Le Centre Filles Mobile of the YWCA in the city of Québec fought for the protection of the environment in their community by raising awareness and advocating for the city of Quebec to offer composting options with a host of mobilization actions. The young women sent a letter and a petition to Mayor Labeaume and met with a municipal decision-maker to denounce and question the lack of composting options in the city. The girls also created and distributed a zine in the city to raise awareness in their community about environmental protection and to inform them of their actions with the city. They participated in a television and two radio shows and wrote a newspaper article.

3. Redfox, Vancouver BC

Red Fox Healthy Living Society partners with the Environmental Youth Alliance for Seed Generation, a program that gives youth “experiences creating wildlife habitat and an Indigenous foodscape garden” in Vancouver, BC. It enables youth to take a hands-on approach to environmental protection. With Equitas’ support, Red Fox youth were able to capture their program in the form of a photo exhibit. The photos were displayed at their year-end community gathering where youth leaders could take guests on a virtual tour of the program highlights, from invasive species clearings to local hikes in the mountains.