In a show of commitment to promote children’s right to a healthy environment, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association’s Youth Network, Environmental Management Agency and Harare City Council Officials today visited Budiriro, suburb in Zimbabwe’s capital city for a cleanup campaign. The organisation realises that children’s rights-based approach to environmental management entails ensuring that the substantive and procedural elements of the right to a healthy environment are taken into consideration. Substantive elements include that children and young people should have clean air, clean water and adequate sanitation, healthy and sustainably produced food, a non-toxic environment in which to live, work, study and play. Procedural elements consist of children and young people’s right of access to environmental information, public participation in environmental impact assessments and other decision-making processes affecting the environment, and access to effective remedies when their rights are being violated or threatened.
Given the vulnerability of children to environmental harm, duty bearers have a heightened obligation to respect and promote their right to a clean and safe environment. Zimbabwe is one of the countries where environmental rights are justiciable.
Children if well informed and encouraged can participate effectively in decision making, including on environmental issues. Globally, millions of empowered children are playing an important and influential role in advocating for climate justice and ZELA’s Youth Network has decided not to be left behind. Enhancing children’s participation is one of the best ways of protecting their environmental rights.
The Environmental Management Agency, Harare City Council Officials, students and community members who participated in the clean up campaign also took time to sign the #myplanetmyrights petition
Source: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA)