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SDG14 and children’s human rights

Elisa Morgera, Michael Sweeney and Sophie Shields

One Ocean Hub, University of Strathclyde, UK

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  • sustainable development,
  • SDG14,
  • SDGs,
  • Child Rights,
  • children,
  • United Nations,
  • youth,
  • participation
Target Group
  • Policy makers,
  • Researchers,
  • Students,
  • Teachers,
  • Community workers,
  • Youth
  • English

The paper examines the alignment between the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Below Water) and children's human rights.

Published in August 2022, this paper aims to raise awareness about the interdependence of children’s human rights with a healthy ocean, with a view to contributing to bringing together the constituencies working on children’s human rights and on the ocean to fully support children’s participation and the protection of their human rights in ocean decision-making processes. This paper is structured around the targets of SDG14 on Life Below Water and children’s human rights, as outlined in the UNCRC and guidance provided by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The paper first considers UNICEF’s ‘Mapping the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,’ connecting each target of SDG14 with children’s human rights. It also considers further developments related to children’s human rights and life below water since 2016, including: the creation of UNICEF’s Child Climate Risk Index; the ‘Climate Case’ admissibility decision at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCR); the ongoing development and consultation on UNCR General Comment 26 on children’s human rights and the environment, with a special focus on climate change; and the 2021 Joint Commitment by Heads of UN Entities to promote the right of children, youth and future generations to a healthy environment and their participation in decision-making at all levels, in relation to climate action and climate justice.