Report on realizing children’s rights through a healthy environment

3 January 2020
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
To the HRC at its 43rd session, June 2020


In 2019, in its resolution 40/14, the Human Rights Council decided to focus its 2020 annual meeting on the rights of the child on the theme "Realizing the rights of the child through a healthy environment." It requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on this matter in cooperation with all stakeholders.


The report was presented to the Human Rights Council at its forty-fourth session in June 2020 to inform the annual day of discussion on children's rights. The report provides an overview of international legal obligations, business responsibilities and the relationship between a healthy environment and children's rights. It sets out the effects of environmental damage, climate change, and childhood exposure to pollution and toxic wastes on children, their rights and well-being. It contains a number of recommendations to States and businesses to strengthen the protection, promotion and fulfilment of children's rights through a healthy environment.

Inputs received

Submissions by Member States

Submissions by UN bodies and other international entities

Submissions by National Human Rights Institutions

Submissions by civil society organisations

Additional relevant reports

  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment on children's rights and the environment (2018) (A/HRC/37/58)
  • Analytical study of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the relationship between climate change and the full and effective enjoyment of the rights of the child (2017) (A/HRC/35/13)
  • Report of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes on the impact of toxics and pollution on children's rights (2016) (A/HRC/33/41)