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Blueair in partnership with Global Action Plan, the Coalition for Clean Air, Centre for Environment Education and Safe Kids China, f0und victory in its “Freedom to Breathe” campaign as the Vice-Chair to the Committee of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Philip D. Jaffé acknowledged that clean air will be elevated within the UNCRC through the forthcoming General Comment no.26 (GC26).

Access to clean air was recently recognized as a human right but is not among children’s rights defined by the UNCRC. The “Freedom to Breathe” campaign, which lasted over the past six months, therefore saw children from across the globe demand the right to clean air, collecting 29,674 signatures worldwide.

The children’s call was further supported by 62 signatories of civil society organisations, academics and businesses including UNICEF UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), Unilever and the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP). In a letter penned to members of the Committee of the UNCRC, signatories declared their support for children’s right to clean air being elevated within the Convention.

Sara Alsén, Chief Purpose Officer at Blueair stated, “Blueair was founded on the belief that business should be a force for good in society. For the last 25 years, we have been fighting for every child’s right to breathe clean air. I’m so proud that the UN acknowledged our fight and recognized that clean air, just like clean water, should be the right of every child.”

Nine out of ten children around the world are breathing in toxins that exceed safe levels which can interfere with critical stages of organ development in a child. Children are more physiologically vulnerable to air pollution based on their smaller relative size and they have greater exposure to air pollution based on their relative faster breathing rate, per unit of body weight, compared to adults. By 2050, UNICEF predicts that air pollution will become the leading cause of child mortality and at least 6.7 million deaths globally in 2019 were from long-term exposure to air pollution, a factor raising the risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, lung cancer and other chronic lung diseases, said The State of Global Air Report 2020.      

​​The Freedom to breathe campaign hopes the UNCRC’s acknowledgement will lead to a significant improvement in clean air and continues to become more anchored within the UN system, providing authoritative guidance that will accelerate action on air pollution globally.

Source: Definition Agency