DTA

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Tesi etd-05112021-221528

Type of thesis
Master univ. I liv.
Author
MCEVOY, MARY RUTH
URN
etd-05112021-221528
Title
Ignored, not ignorant: youth voices on climate action. Children's right to be heard on climate change in England and Italy.
Structure
Istituto di Diritto, Politica e Sviluppo
Course
Corsi Alta Formazione - MASTER IN HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Committee
relatore Dott.ssa ANTONIAZZI, CHIARA TEA
Presidente Prof. SOMMARIO, EMANUELE GIUSEPPE
Keywords
  • children's rights
  • climate change
  • participation
  • right to be heard
  • young people.
Exam session start date
14/05/2021;
Availability
completa
Abstract
Climate change and environmental degradation directly threaten children’s rights. Although children are the most affected by these issues, their voices on the matter are too often ignored. This dissertation explores the extent to which young people in England and Italy can exercise their right to be heard on climate change and the barriers and enablers to their participation in climate action. The research methodology combines an analysis of the legal framework with primary research conducted through a survey and focus group discussions, involving 303 young people in England and Italy, aged 11 to 16 years old. Taking a rights-based approach, the researcher adopted a participatory method to empower young people as co-researchers for the design of the research tools and interpretation of the results. The research evidenced that although the right to be heard on “all matters affecting the child”, as provided for by article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, includes the issue of climate change and has been well recognised and promoted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, its implementation in England and Italy is fairly weak. The main barriers identified by the young people are the negative attitudes of adults, insufficient climate education and a lack of inclusive opportunities for their participation in environmental decision-making. They expressed a strong desire to become more involved in climate action and confidence in their ability to offer valuable ideas from their unique perspective. The author argues that improved political commitment, open-minded collaboration and stronger accountability mechanisms are required to enable young people to access the support, information and platforms to have their voices heard on climate change.
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