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Ending violence against children while addressing the global climate crisis

Working papers

Written by Paola Pereznieto, Virginie Le Masson, Rachel George, Rachel Marcus

Hero image description: Young people take part in a climate change demonstration Image credit:Callum Shaw / Unsplash

This working paper focuses on two critical global challenges: violence against children and climate change. The links between the two are not always obvious, but they exist and are significant in terms of both causes and solutions. Combating the causes of climate change can impact positively on certain contexts in which children are at high risk of experiencing violence.

This working paper proposes a framework and provides evidence on the links between the causes and consequences of violence against children and some of the underlying practices responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. It also establishes connections between some of the consequences of climate change – such as desertification, floods and erratic temperatures affecting agricultural productivity – and an increased risk of violence against children.

Key messages

  • The Sustainable Development Goals include the mitigation of both climate change and violence against children. Given the links between these two problems, actions that address both will be more effective in achieving these goals.
  • Disaster risk reduction planning that considers the risks of violence against children arising from climate-related shocks will enable more responsive mechanisms to mitigate impacts on children.
  • Children and adolescents are crucial agents of change in the global fight against climate change. They are also aware of the climate-related risks they face, so involving them in solutions will generate positive results.
Young people take part in a climate change demonstration
Paola Pereznieto, Jenny Rivett and Virginie le Masson with Rachel George and Rachel Marcus