16 child petitioners filed a landmark complaint demanding urgent climate action


Yesterday, sixteen child petitioners – including Greta Thunberg and Alexandria Villaseñor – from 12 countries around the world today presented a landmark official complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to protest lack of government action on the climate crisis.

The petitioners – aged between 8 to 17 – allege that Member States’ failure to tackle the climate crisis constitutes a violation of child rights. They urge the independent body to order Member States to take action to protect children from the devastating impacts of climate change.

“Change needs to happen now if we are to avoid the worst consequences.
The climate crisis is not just the weather. It means also, lack of food and lack of water, places that are unliveable and refugees because of it.
It is scary.”

- Greta Thunberg

The complaint was filed through the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a voluntary mechanism which allows children or adults on their behalf to appeal directly to the United Nations for help if a country that has ratified the Protocol fails to provide a remedy for a rights violation.

It aims to inspire the urgent action needed to curb global heating and mitigate the impact of the climate crisis.

In addition to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, and Alexandria Villaseñor, the 14-year-old American climate activist, the 14 other child petitioners are from Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Marshall Islands, Nigeria, Palau, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia and the United States. Their names are Carl, Catarina, Chiara, Ellen-Anne, Iris, Raina, Raslen, Deborah, Ayakha, Ridhima, Carlos, Litokne, David, and Ranton. They are represented by global law firm Hausfeld LLP and Earthjustice.


“I don’t want to be underwater. I want future generations to experience what I experience, I want them to experience living on Ebeye. It still saddens me – I want them to experience the same things I did.”

- Ranton Anjain, Marshall Islands