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Climate (In)justice:

How Climate Change Affects Children’s Access to Justice



As we confront the intertwined crises of climate change, economic instability, and geopolitical turmoil, the vulnerable situations in which children find themselves in are ever more evident. This year, the 3rd CFJ-EN Annual Seminar, organised in partnership with Terre des hommes Foundation (Tdh) and CICS.NOVA, will explore how climate change places structural pressures on justice systems which should be designed to respect the rights of children. Specifically, it will look at how strategic climate litigation and enforcing children’s right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly can help guarantee their access to justice within the context of the climate crisis.

By bringing together academia, practitioners, and policymakers, we will foster dialogue and exchange knowledge on transforming justice systems to better meet the needs and rights of children. This event sets the stage for the upcoming World Congress on Justice with Children in June 2025 and builds on key recommendations from Terre des Hommes’ 2023 report, "Climate In-justice for Children: How climate crisis affects access to justice and children’s rights."

Join us as we look towards a just future where all children can thrive despite the challenges of our changing world.

Keynote Speaker

Elisa Morgera (to be confirmed)
UN Special Rapporteur on Climate Change

Elisa Morgera is UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. She is Professor of Global Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (UK) and Adjunct Professor in International and European Union Environmental Law at the University of Eastern Finland. Prof Morgera has published extensively on human rights and the environment, the human right to science, as well as the human rights of small-scale fishers, Indigenous Peoples, and children, at the climate-biodiversity and climate-ocean nexus. She has also published on business responsibility to respect human rights, as well as on the international principle and standards of equity among and within States, based on international environmental and human rights law. 

Previously, she worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in Italy and the United Nations Development Programme in Barbados; and continued to collaborate with the United Nations and other international organisations as consultant and independent expert. She advised governments and civil society in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.

Elisa has provided independent advice into the development of the UN General Comment No. 26 on Children's Human Rights and a Healthy Environment, with a special focus on Climate Change, and has been working towards its uptake in international environmental and ocean governance processes, as part of the Children's Environmental Rights Initiative.

1/ Impact Litigation and Children's Access to Justice

How can strategic litigation be employed as a tool to ensure access to justice for children whose environmental rights have been violated?

How do we ensure access to justice and child-friendly legal assistance for children, especially those who are displaced or migrate due to environmental issues?

2 / Children's Rights to Free Assembly

What can we do to ensure children are free to meet, campaign and protest on climate-related topics, without fear of legal reprisals?

In what way are states obligated to create an enabling environment for children acting as human rights defenders in environmental cases?

3 / Climate Change and Child Justice Systems

What type of data exist on the impact of environmental issues on law enforcement for children? What existing data can we collect from child justice systems?


What are the current challenges and responses to the impact of climate change on child justice systems, and how can we implement child-friendly standards?

What is the impact of climate change on children deprived of liberty, including in criminal and administrative settings? To what extent are non-custodial measures for children envisaged in an adverse climate?

How can public, private and third-sector organisations help child justice systems better address climate change issues in legal proceedings involving children?

4 / Climate Change and Crimes committed by and affecting Children

Does climate change impact child-related crimes? What adaptations are necessary in justice systems to address these changes? 

To what extent does climate change constitute a structural driver of violence against children and criminal activity among young people?

What are effective ways in which children can participate in decision-making processes to inform crime prevention strategies, in the context of social and urban changes generated by environmental degradation and climate change?

Currently, how are legal systems respecting and addressing the diversity of children affected by climate change? Are they applying principles of non-discrimination? Do current approaches address the needs of all children, or just certain groups?


Indicative Agenda

More info to follow!

Thursday 10 October, 2024
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Opening Plenary

  • Keynote Speech

  • Thematic Plenary Sessions

  • Parallel Workshop Sessions

8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
  • Networking Dinner

Friday 11 October, 2024
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Thematic Plenary Sessions

  • Parallel Workshop Sessions

  • Closing Plenary


Registration Costs

The historic Maison des Brasseurs with its ornate golden embellishments and statue of Charles Alexander of Lorraine on horseback, set against the clear sky on Grand Place, Brussels.
Early Bird Special

Take advantage of our Early Bird rate of €50 available until 30th June 2024. This special rate allows you to enjoy all that the conference has to offer at a reduced cost.*

Standard Registration

After the Early Bird period, the registration fee will be €80. Registrations are open until 10th September 2024. Ensure your spot at the conference by registering early!*

Networking Dinner

An optional networking dinner will be held on Thursday 10 October, for an additional €30. Places are limited so be sure to get in early!*

Free for CFJ-EN Members

Each CFJ-EN member organisation is entitled to one free ticket to the annual seminar, including the networking dinner. Additional representatives will have to pay. If you are a member, please look out for a "special invitation" email which will include your discount code.

Support a Young Participant

Consider supporting a young person’s participation at our conference. Your contribution of €30 will help enable a young person with experience of the justice system to attend this event.*

*Please note: Eventbrite will add a 4% handling fee to the cost of your ticket.

Call for Workshop Proposals

QRCode for Workshop Proposal Form_ CFJ-EN Annual Seminar 2024.png

We are excited to invite participants to submit proposals for workshops to be held during the annual seminar. This year, we are offering two sessions of three parallel workshops on both Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Each workshop will run for approximately 80-90 minutes. Workshop organisers should identify a moderator. Note-taking will be done by the operational team and/or CFJ-EN Member.

Themes for Submission

Our workshops will focus on the following themes:

  1. Impact Litigation and Children’s Access to Justice

  2. Children's Rights to Free Assembly

  3. Climate Change and Child Justice Systems

  4. Climate Change and Crimes committed by and affecting children 

Participants interested in presenting a workshop are encouraged to submit a proposal. The deadline for submission is: Friday, 14 June 2024 – 5:00 pm CET

You can access the proposal submission form here.


Feel free to email with any questions. 


Other important information

Registration and Participation

Registration for the annual seminar is mandatory, and closes on 10 September 2024. You will not be able to participate if you do not register by this date.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

This is an in-person event, and hybrid participation will therefore NOT be possible.


The Annual Seminar is co-funded by the European Union.


If you encounter any issues during registration or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to help you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Mariama Diallo - Coordinator
Teresa Schepis - Assistant Coordinator 


Child Friendly Justice
European Network

CFJ-EN is a European network campaigning to adapt justice systems to children, their particular needs and their vulnerabilities.

Terre des hommes

Founded in 1960, Terre des hommes is Switzerland's largest children's rights organization, committed to protecting children's lives and rights, and promoting their well-being.


CICS.NOVA's mission is to develop interdisciplinary social science research, promote critical thinking and integrate the knowledge generated in the communities in which it operates, both nationally and internationally.

The CFJ-EN Annual Seminar is
co-funded by the European Union

Book your ticket

Join us as we look towards a just future where all children can thrive despite the challenges of climate change.

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