Inspiration and resources for your own youth-led, community-based human rights trial

Inspiration and resources for your own youth-led, community-based human rights trial

Inspiration and resources for your own youth-led, community-based human rights trial

Why Youth Climate Courts?

Local governments that are not adequately addressing the climate crisis need to be called to account for failing to protect the basic rights of their citizens, and who better to do that than the young people whose rights are already being, and will continue to be, most dramatically impacted.

  • Because the future belongs to today’s young people.
  • Because young people's right to a future and to a healthy environment conducive to a decent life are not being adequately respected.
  • Because young people are given no voice in the halls of political power; many cannot even vote.
  • Because it is their right to have a voice in protecting their future world.
  • Because human rights stand as basic moral minimums that governments must to live up to;
  • Because the central function of government is to secure and protect the rights of citizens;
  • Because human rights serve as the clear moral standard against which government policies and practices must be measured;
  • Because human rights standards are universal; they are not limited to certain people, groups, religions, nations, or situations but apply to everyone;
  • Because human rights protect the poor, the disenfranchised, the unempowered, the non-privileged, the injured, minorities, indigenous peoples, women, and yes, even children. Especially children.

The important thing about human rights norms is that they set standards for what duty-bearing governments must do and must also make sure they never do.

Why Human Rights?

Start a Youth Climate Court

To start your own YCC, decide who your team will be, decide which local government or government agency you will put on trial, then click on the How To pages here on the YCC site and go from there.

Bearing Witness: The Human Rights Case Against Fracking and Climate Change

On May 14, 2018, a respected international human-rights court, the Rome-based Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, began a week-long hearing on the impacts of fracking and climate change on human and Earth rights. In its advisory opinion, the Tribunal ruled that fracking systematically violates substantive and procedural human rights; that governments are complicit in the rights violations; and that to protect human rights and the climate, the practice of fracking should be banned.

Bearing Witness maps a promising new direction in the ongoing struggle to protect the planet from climate chaos. It tells the story of this landmark case through carefully curated court materials, including searing eye-witness testimony, groundbreaking legal testimony, and the Tribunal’s advisory opinion. Essays by leading climate writers such as Winona LaDuke, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Sandra Steingraber and legal experts such as John Knox, Mary Wood, and Anna Grear give context to the controversy. Framing essays by the editors, experts on climate ethics and human rights, demonstrate that a human-rights focus is a powerful, transformative new tool to address the climate crisis.

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