This policy brief is primarily aimed at human rights lawyers, government representatives and civil society contributing to discussions on children’s rights and the environment, with a view to raising their awareness about the unique role the ocean has in the protection of those rights. The brief is also relevant for:
- State actors who make decisions concerning the ocean (its conservation and the sustainable use of marine and coastal areas and resources;
- NGOs involved in ocean conservation, environmental protection and/or human rights;
- Businesses interested in the impacts their activities may have on the ocean, the larger environment and/or children; and
- youth activists and educators.
- ocean degradation is a major threat to the protection and enjoyment of children’s human rights;
- despite its importance, ocean health is paid little attention in research on children’s rights and the environment and in relevant UN reports;
- Human rights experts involved in international initiatives on children’s human rights, a healthy environment and climate change should ensure consideration of the role of a healthy ocean for protecting and fully realizing children’s human rights;
- States and businesses should ensure that their decision, activities and policies on ocean conservation and sustainable use should systematically consider potential impacts on children’s human rights;
- Future research on the relationship between a healthy environment, climate change and children’s human rights should consider the importance of the ocean for the protection of these rights.
- The importance of a healthy ocean for children’s rights should be included in education initiatives, with a view to promoting greater participation of children in ocean decision-making processes and conservation initiatives.