Mothers Rebellion Circles highlight World Children’s Day across UK
November 21, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion
In response to the current and growing threat that climate breakdown presents to children around the globe, Mothers Rebellion gathered across the UK and in over 30 countries on six continents last Saturday to highlight World Children’s Day which commemorates the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In the UK, 15 peaceful circles of mothers and their allies sat down in public spaces in Aberystwyth, Altrincham, Barnstaple, Bristol, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Chippenham, Consett, Falmouth, Frome, Lichfield, London, Woking and York.
Nina, mother of two from York who took part in the protest said: “I joined Mothers Rebellion because they centre women and children in the climate movement. Because the emphasis is on peaceful, inclusive protest it enables many to take that first important step into action. Climate action is joyful and gives us hope”.
Catastrophes such as flooding, heat, drought and conflict are a reality to many young children growing up today, posing grave threats to their rights. Children growing up in the Global South experience the hardest consequences which are caused by the Global North’s excessive use of the planet’s resources.
Poverty, economic and social inequalities, food insecurity and forced displacement aggravate the risk that children will experience violence, abuse and exploitation. A recent Unicef analysis found that at least 43 million children were displaced over the past six years due to extreme weather events.
In a statement in October Dr Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Britain’s most senior paediatrician said: “Climate change poses an existential threat to the health and wellbeing of all children. Healthcare professionals are already seeing its impacts first-hand. Air pollution, extreme weather and unprecedented energy costs are having a real and detrimental effect on millions of children. We cannot continue with our heads in the sand. We must act now and with our children in mind.”
Mothers Rebellion groups demand that countries incorporate children’s right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment into their national legislation and take adequate and just measures to implement it.
Historically, mothers and caregivers have protected and nurtured the young and the most vulnerable in society. Our role continues today as we speak out to protect and preserve the lives of our children and of all children across our planet, our only home.
Elizabeth Cripps, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, author of Parenting on Earth: A philosopher’s guide to doing right by your kids – and everyone else, and mother of two from Edinburgh said: “If our children’s overall future is threatened and we are just focusing on what we can do as individuals, we are effectively reading bedtime stories in a house that’s burning down. We need collective change.”
Mothers Rebellion is an international grassroots organisation made up of mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunties, grandmothers, and their allies.