ENYA Forum 2022: Meeting on children and young people's participation in climate justice hosted by the Ararteko

Young people from 17 countries and regions met in the Basque Country to discuss climate justice in an ENYA Forum hosted by the Ombudsman for the Basque Country (Ararteko)

The European Network of Young Advisors (ENYA) is the child participation organ of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC). Child participation is one of the cornerstones of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

ENYA works every year on a different topic. In the ENYA Forum 2022, the young people have been discussing and making recommendations on climate justice.

The Forum was organized this year by the Ararteko’s Child Rights Department. From June 28 to 30, a total of 34 boys and girls from 17 different countries and regions met to put in common the work they had been doing in the previous months in their respective jurisdictions on climate justice. These boys and girls are members in advisory councils of child commissioners’ or ombudspersons’ offices throughout Europe, or are members of youth groups sponsored by these institutions. Taking a child rights perspective, they have been discussing the following topics:

  • Climate action and the right to participate in environmental decisions.
  • North-South: how climate change exacerbates inequalities across the globe.
  • Consumption and carbon footprint: questioning the growth paradigm
  • Sustainable mobility and land planning
  • Energy sources

The participating youth came from Albania, Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Croatia, Estonia, Flanders, France, Greece, Italy, Jersey, Malta, Northern Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia and Wales.

Besides their work on their recommendations to public authorities, which will be reflected in a report and in ENOC’s yearly statement to be released in late September, the young people had the opportunity to visit the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and to plant 25 trees to compensate symbolically for the CO2 emissions caused by the event. They have also designed a child-led campaign to bring the recommendations to the attention of relevant decision-makers at European level.