School students have led the way on climate protests in recent weeks and months, challenging the complacency of established politicians standing silently by while we move towards the point where it will be too late to reverse climate change.
These students, who should be applauded for the courage and dedication to the biggest political challenge they are likely to face in their lifetime, instead face schools that have resorted to threats and punishment. In a number of cases, students have been threatened with or given after-school detention for taking part in local strikes, were marked as truant or even suspended.
Under-18s have the same right to free expression as anybody else, a right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds. They also have the right to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. These rights unquestionably include the right of young students to speak out and protest about climate change, the burden of which will fall most heavily on those who are the youngest among us today.