Declaration of

the International terre des hommes Youth Network

Preamble:

Youths from different corners of the world gathered from 22 September 2011 to 3 October 2011, representing the countries of South America, Central America, Africa, South East Asia, Germany and India where they discussed different problems related to children’s rights and ecology. One of the most shameful incidents is that many children in different countries still do not have a citizenship, which means right from the beginning of the life the children are deprived of their basic fundamental rights. So we feel that to ensure ecological child rights, citizenship of all children is a precondition. Thus all the country governments should ensure that all children have a citizenship.

The youth network further discussed the precondition of a healthy environment for good living of generations today and tomorrow. Again reality is far away from this situation. Our environment is affected and exploited each moment in each and every corner of this world. This feeling was strengthened by the depositions from different members coming from different corners who have witnessed situations directly or indirectly. Common issues which emerged from all regions were- industrialisation at the cost of people, displacement, exploitations and pollution from mining, destruction of culture and biodiversity, deforestation, effect of harmful chemical pesticides, exploitation of fossil fuels, and many others. Hence as tdhyouth network we felt the need to express our opinion regarding these situations and demand for improvement from the respective governments through this declaration.

Our demands include:

  • Any new development project by the government or the industrial companies should be made subject to public opinion and debate before it gets approved, where child and youth participation is made compulsory. The processes should be open, transparent and to ensure accountability.
  • Governments should ensure standards of healthy environment during development projects initiated by them or promoted by them and also that all means should ensure ‘PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT’.  Where damages have been already caused the victims should be properly treated and rehabilitated through the government infrastructure.
  • The governments should integrate ecological education in its regular academic curricula and so create green job opportunities.
  • Governments should finance public policies of health, education, environment, etc and ensure that the services provided are of good quality and useful for society. These services should be monitored and evaluated at regular intervals for the enforcement of the policies.
  • Development should ensure regeneration and rejuvenation of natural resources to ensure livelihoods sustainability of future generations.
  • The respective government should appoint an OMBUDSPERSON to investigate the burden of development on the future generation immediately in respect to ecological imbalances (like pollution, contamination, climate change, etc).
  • Ownership of natural resources should remain with the local people of the land. Land that has been taken away forcibly should be given back to the original owners with proper compensation.
  • The states must respect diversity of indigenous people and fulfil the ILO convention 169, the UN Declaration of the rights of indigenous people and the declaration of MOTHER EARTH of the WORLD CLIMATE CONFERENCE.

To Conclude:

All these demands should be realised for the benefit and best interest of all children regardless of religion, gender, age and legal status with proper compensation

Signed by the regional representatives of the international TdH youth network:

Nawaal Domingo ( South Africa)

Maria José Salazar ( South America)

Eva Reynoso Ambrocio ( Central America)

Sudipta Pramanick ( India)

Thongchai Chakatprasit ( South East Asia)

Anja Stanowsky ( Germany)

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