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Portugal: when the Youth take matters in their own hands

28 September 2020

Six young Portuguese have sued 33 countries in front of the European Court of Human Rights, accusing them of violating their rights by not doing enough against climate change. 

 

It’s the first case of its kind, where an explicit link between climate change and human rights violation has been made.

CláudiaAgostinho (21), Catarina Mota (20), MartimAgostinho (17), Sofia Oliveira (15), André Oliveira (12) et Mariana Agostinho (8) are the six children and teenagers who have accused UE members states (and the United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Switzerland) of not doing enough to protect them from the effects of climate change. 

This year, July has been the hottest month ever recorded in the last nine decades. 

Aged only 8, Mariana, the youngest of the activists, explains that if she lived until she is eighty, she will be there at the mark of 2100. And if governments continue the business, as usual, Mariana will live in a world 4° degree hotter.

This perspective scares Claudia (21) who already sees her environment becoming more hostile with the rising temperatures, which lead to forest wildfires and heatwaves. 

The young team has been able to fund their activism thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. A success: they raised almost 30.000 euros! 

According to the lawyers supporting them, this initiative has the advantage to push decision-makers to face their obligations taken during the COP21 conference. 

A nice example of youth commitment to engage with the issues marking our future. We are lucky enough to live in a political system where we have access to powerful tools to make our voices heard – let’s use them!

 

 

Photo credit: Global Legal Action Framework

 

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