Children are taking action and speaking up on climate emergency as extreme weather events continue to pose threats on their right to survive, access education, and well-being according to a survey conducted by Save the Children Philippines.
The child rights organization marks the World Sustainability Day highlighting calls for a unified action and strengthening of public awareness to address the harsh impact of climate emergency. Save the Children has launched the #RedAlertonClimate to inform the public about the climate emergency during the pandemic and provide a platform for children to speak up to change the future.
According to the survey of 41 children and youth from Metro Manila, Eastern Visayas and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) conducted from October 8-17, 2020, children said their well-being is also affected by frequent flooding, droughts and heat waves which prevent them to do things that they used to do, including going to school.
“I can’t play outside. Flooding and air pollution make me sick,” said one of the child respondents.
“Children are speaking up. We have to listen and consider their perspectives in the actions and decisions that we do in preventing climate and environment catastrophe,” said Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines.
The child rights organization said the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the situation of children and their families who were affected by the series of extreme weather events including Typhoon Quinta (international name: Molave) which flattened farmlands, destroyed houses and public infrastructures in the Bicol region and nearby provinces in Luzon.
Save the Children Philippines advocated the passage of Republic Act 10821 or the Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act that directs national and local government agencies to implement and sustain comprehensive emergency program to protect children, pregnant and lactating mothers from disasters and emergencies.
“The most vulnerable children are paying the price of climate crisis as they suffer from irreversible, life-long, health and social impacts of missing school, and malnutrition, we have to listen and work to fulfill their right to live in a safer and sustainable world,” said Muyot.