School students have the right to protest Morrison government inaction on climate change

8 March 2019

The Australian Education Union (AEU) supports the rights of students to speak out in protest about the challenges posed by climate change in Australia.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them.

“The AEU supports the democratic right of students to take direct action, giving voice to their real concerns about the impacts of climate change, and protesting the inaction by the federal government,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“We commend the actions of students who participated in the climate strike in November 2018 to build pressure on the Morrison government to enact laws and policy that would place Australia at the international forefront on proper action to tackle climate change.”

“The AEU stands in solidarity with students and will work with education departments to ensure that students who wish to participate in the student strike planned for 15 March 2019 are afforded their democratic rights and can do so safely,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“The commitment of the teaching profession in educating the next generation about climate change is critical.”

“Tomorrow’s workers will need to be empowered with the problem solving skills to make a just transition, negotiate new global trade markets, new technologies and understand which industries will expand and which will disappear in a potential carbon neutral economy,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Our students must be equipped with the right skills to become innovators and agents of change in a rapidly changing world.”

Ms Haythorpe said Australians must recognise both the impact of climate change and the setting of ambitious measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, on workers’ lives, livelihoods, communities and families.

“The Morrison Government’s continued denial of climate change and lack of action is placing Australians and our Pacific neighbours in grave danger,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Climate change is a reality and the only acceptable debate is about how we deal with the consequences and ensure that our children and students are prepared for the future.”

“The AEU will advocate strongly for educators to be properly informed and educated about the science of climate change and its impacts on Australia and the world’s developing countries,” Ms Haythorpe said.