International Law and Human Rights Unit and the European Children's Rights Unit Seminar
Speaker: Aoife Daly
Youth voices have played a significant role in bringing prominence to the climate crisis. Children and young people are traditionally perceived as vulnerable and needing protection. Through climate activism however they have transformed these perceptions and have become seen by many as uniquely competent on climate change. Youth activists have moved from the streets to the courts; utilising human rights mechanisms to further their cause. They are not the first to do so, and the extent of their impact is as yet unclear. Nevertheless it is argued in this paper that they have not just changed perceptions of themselves as a group. They have also shifted (if even in a small way) the human-centric, procedural arena of international human rights law towards a more ecosocial worldview, one which better encompasses person-environment connections. A model is presented for understanding climate change and youth activism based on core human rights principles.
Aoife teaches law at the School of Law, University College Cork, specialising in human rights and particularly children's rights. She is an Early Career Fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation researching the intersection of children's rights, law and the concept of 'competence'. She has recently been training NHS nurses on children's competence to consent to medical treatment with colleagues at the European Children's Rights Unit, School of Law, University of Liverpool, where she is an honorary research fellow. Please register here.