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20 September 2023 - News

"We will be vigilant against environmental crimes": The Powerful Plea of a Peruvian Teenager Before the United Nations

  • Esmeralda, a 16-year-old peruvian delegate from MOLACNNATS and an ally of Save the Children, participated in the most important global summit of the United Nations on climate change and children's rights.

Esmeralda, a 16-year-old peruvian teenager, took part in the most significant United Nations (UN) summit on climate change and children's rights, a global event where she represented the voices of Andean and Amazonian children and adolescents from Latin America. In her speech, Esmeralda called for authorities to invest in policies to combat the climate crisis and also warned that the youth of the region will not tolerate any more environmental crimes.

“Children, our generation, will be vigilant against environmental crimes in different parts of the world. We will raise our voices as loud and strong as possible when that happens. Remember: what is good for children and nature is good for humanity,” Esmeralda said before the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a UN body that supervises compliance with the Convention on Human Rights. of the Child in the world.

Esmeralda hails from Huancavelica and is a delegate of the National Movement of Organized Child and Adolescent Workers of Peru (MNNATSOP), as well as a significant ally of the international organization Save the Children. Her intervention took place in Geneva, Switzerland, during the presentation of the child-friendly version of the General Comment on the Rights of the Child and the Environment with a special focus on Climate Change (General Comment No. 26).

General Comment No. 26 is an official United Nations guide on how the environmental crisis affects children's rights. This instrument, which is mandatory for Peru, includes standards and recommendations for governments to ensure the right of children to live in a clean, healthy, and sustainable world.

"Children can use this tool to advocate for the right to a safe and healthy environment and thus engage authorities in implementing policies and investing in the environmental agenda," said Esmeralda, who concluded her speech with a message in Quechua: "Nature is alive. Get to know it, love it, and respect it."

As a delegate of MNNATSOP, Esmeralda has participated in various initiatives promoted by Save the Children to ensure that the voices of children are heard by authorities. One of these initiatives was consultations on climate change, inequality, and food security carried out within the framework of the global campaign "Generation Hope".



Esmeralda, along with 11 children from around the world, is part of the group of expert advisors of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds who helped build and guide the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in creating and disseminating General Comment 26. For its development, from December 2021 to December 2023, the Committee conducted a series of consultations with the global community, including specific consultations with children. They received 16,331 contributions from children from over 100 countries.