|Mami Ishida: Attorney-at-law in Japan Secretary general of the Working Group on International Human Rights Conventions of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA).
Facilitator of Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees School lawyer in Hyogo Prefecture
The deterioration of our living environment due to global warming and other factors is a top priority agenda requiring concerted global efforts. Environmental degradation threatens the survival of children, who are our future. The prevention of such degradation and the provision of a safe environment for them will, above all, be a guarantee of their human rights.
Currently, NGOs and other organizations involving children and youth are becoming more active all over the world, and lawyers are collaborating in legislative and litigation efforts against environmental degradation based on children’s rights.
In this session, two youth speakers from India and Japan who talked about the reasons why they became involved in the environmental protection activities and shared with us about their activities to protect the environment, and three adult speakers from India, Malaysia and Japan talked about their involvement in this issue. After each speaker’s presentation, we had a panel discussion between youth and adult speakers on this issue.
The panel and moderators are as follows
Mr. Simon HENDERSON (Australia, International human rights lawyer and academic)
Ms. Mami ISHIDA (Japan, Attorney-at-Law in Japan, Secretary general of the Working Group on International Human Rights Conventions of JFBA)
Dr. Loganathan Krishnan (Malaysia, Lecturer at Monash University Malaysia)
Ms. Mikiko Otani (Japan, Member and former Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Attorney-at-Law in Japan)
Ms. APARAJITA SHARMA (India, Member of Bar Association of India and Member of LAWASIA)
Miss Kurika SAKAGUCHI (Japan, Student at United World College Maastricht in the Netherlands, founded the student organization Connecting Our Earth in 2020 and serves as its representative.)
Miss Ridhima Pandy (India, High school student and Environmental activist who works to combat climate change and filed a lawsuit against the Indian government at the age of nine.)
Miss Kurika SAKAGUCHI shared that her interest in environmental issues was aroused when she visited at the zoo and found the tact that there was only a doll of polar bear instead of a real one and that the importance of each person to think and do what they can to protect the environment.
Miss Ridhima Pandy spoke about environmental lawsuits she has filed against the Indian government in India and environmental work she has done outside of India in partnership with young people in other countries.
Dr. Loganathan Krishnan pointed out that the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 in Malaysia does not provide adequate legal rights to the Aboriginal community, including children, and in explaining the legal cases he emphasized the importance of the role of the judiciary in protecting their rights.
Ms. APARAJITA SHARMA reported on the current state of environmental destruction in the Indian state of Assam, noting that there is not enough action or protection against violations of environmental laws.
Ms. Mikiko Otani explained the purpose of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s General Comment No. 26 on children’s rights and the environment, with a special focus on climate change, and that the Committee had heard from many children from around the world in its preparation process, and had taken into account and reflected their voices,
The panel discussion was very active, and the audience asked many questions about the role of lawyers, class actions, etc., but it was very regrettable that there was not enough time to fully discuss the issues.