Police watch as activists from the international group called Extinction Rebellion sit blocking the street during a protest against climate change outside the COP25 Climate summit in Madrid. Picture: AP Photo/Andrea Comas

Madrid - The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner have called on countries to sign a declaration that will ensure children are prioritised in climate action policies. 

The United Nation (UN) bodies were on Monday speaking at the organisation's Conference of Parties (COP25) climate change conference held in Madrid, Spain.

They emphasised that the climate crisis was a children's rights crisis.

Younger and future generations were the most vulnerable and would experience the harsh impacts of climate change the most, according to the organisations.  

Global youth have called on world leaders to included them in climate action deliberations. They are using the "Fridays for Future" movement to pressurise governments to commit to carbon reduction and adaption mechanisms.

On Monday, during a press briefing, they shared their fears about the extreme weather patterns and pollution damaging their home countries and continents.

Hilda Nakabuye Flavia, a student from Uganda, described the lack of climate action as "environmental racism". 

"Which type of storm or what flavour of floods must Africa taste for us to get climate justice? Every Friday we continue to step out of our comfort zones by missing classes to stress the climate issue. 

"How many more classes must we skip for the world to know that we are suffering the most? Developed countries must be ashamed of theirselves," said Flavia.

Angela Valenzuela, a Chilean student activist, said the rich and powerful seemed happy to sacrifice communities for the pursuit of profit.

"Nature is sacred to our people - our rivers are overshadowed by factories which are polluting our rivers. We banded together to fight but colonial institutions prefer profit over the lives of people," she said.

Environmental experts at the summit have continued to voice concern that plans on mitigation and nationally determined contributions do not mention or include children or young people. 

African News Agency (ANA)