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Electronic Green Journal

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Do children want environmental rights? Ask the Children!


In this paper, we argue for the importance of application and safeguarding of the ‘environmental rights of children,’ and further argue that an understanding of children’s perspectives towards nature and their rights to a viable and healthy environment can help both educational and policy development. To that end, we present a case study of preliminary qualitative research conducted in the United Kingdom that asks children themselvestheir views and degree of exposure to the natural environment. This research is underpinned by an environmental rights-based approach for environmental education, and a novel argument for incorporating children’s own understandings and perspectives in application of environmental rights. We conclude with recommendations for strengthening children’s environmental engagement, protection of rights, and education, and recognize that there is a need for further research to better understand children’s perspectives to their own environmental rights.

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