Special Issue on Children, Poverty and Climate Change

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Call for papers to Journal ASAP Special Issue: Children, Poverty and Climate Change


Special Issue Title: Children, Poverty and Climate Change


Special Issue Keywords

Children; Children’s rights; Climate change; Inequality; Intergenerational justice; Planetary boundaries; Poverty; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Special Issue Guest Editor

Dr Thomas Bundschuh, Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Sheffield Hallam University, UK


Summary of Overall Theme

The climate crisis is affecting children globally, especially children living in poverty. An estimated 850 million children live in areas with at least four overlapping climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses (UNICEF, 2021). And the impact of climate change can aggravate inequalities experienced by children (UNICEF, 2015). The Journal ASAP calls upon all disciplines of research and practice that can contribute to mitigating climate change, the alleviation of poverty and enable the flourishing of children’s lives.


Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change is unequivocal as the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change demonstrate (e.g., IPCC, AR6, WG1, 2021). At the same time, it is also evident that, according to the latest emission gap report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 2021), states are not doing enough to mitigate climate change and cut CO2 emissions.

As a result, now children bear the greatest burden of the lack of climate action while they contribute the least. Children's lives are exposed to heat waves, cyclones, flooding and water scarcity and air pollution. “850 million children are exposed to at least 4 of these overlapping climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses.” (UNICEF, 2021, 11)

The climate crisis is affecting their healthy development and well-being globally. Children living in poverty are even more vulnerable to the effects of climate change (IPCC, AR6, WG2, 2022, ch. 8). Poverty diminishes children’s climate change resilience while climate change exacerbates child poverty.

Clearly, the climate crisis requires urgent action for children. Any delay means that today’s children and children yet to be born will suffer more (Thiery et al., 2021), will spend more years in a world damaged by global warming and will have to stem higher costs to confront climate change as the human-made climate disruption is deteriorating over time if not halted, with the risk of exceeding tipping points (Lenton et al., 2019) and overstepping planetary boundaries (Rockström et al., 2009).


There are urgent questions directed to all disciplines: How can we secure children’s lives and futures in an unequal world? How can we create a stable climate and a safe environment conducive to their development and flourishing over their full life and for generations to come? We would like to take up these questions in this call to all disciplines, areas of research and practice that can contribute to mitigating climate change, to the alleviation of poverty and to the protection and flourishing of children.

This call might be approached from three different angles:

  • How can we explore and understand the dynamics of child development, poverty and climate change and the related economic, social and political determinants?
  • How can we examine and understand the normative standards that help us identify what we owe to present and future children?
  • How can we find and identify entry points of intervention and pathways for action that would effectively address climate change and at the same time contribute to poverty alleviation, both aimed at creating sustainable conditions for flourishing lives of present and future children?



Against this background, we would like to invite proposals addressing the interrelation of climate change and poverty with regard to children in, but not limited to, these areas:

  • Climate science (e.g., IPCC AR6: WG1, 2021; WG2, 2022; WG3, 2022);
  • Climate change and children’s life-course;
  • Developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) and transgenerational epigenetic effects;
  • Especially vulnerable children (e.g., children of ethnic minorities, children in rural areas, disabled children, Indigenous children,  street children);
  • Poverty and its measurement;
  • Climate change and poverty;
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Education;
  • Food security and food systems;
  • Health equity, health status, health care and health systems;
  • Conflict and migration;
  • Inequalities, including regional and global disparities;
  • Marginalization and discrimination based on age, gender, culture, ethnicity, social status, etc.;
  • Risk factors (e.g., prematurity, malnutrition, child labour);
  • Protective factors (e.g., social cohesion, resilience);
  • Participatory approaches and climate activism;
  • Normative issues of ethics, distributive justice, children’s rights and intergenerational equity;
  • Climate law and litigation;
  • Climate economics;
  • Sustainable Development Goals.


This special issue builds on and expands a webinar in December 2021 organised by ASAP UK and entitled “The Climate Crisis and Children's Lives: Poverty, Health, and Child Rights”. The special issue aims at bringing together researchers, scholars and practitioners from different disciplines, approaches and experiences who work on the complex and multifaceted dynamics between climate change and poverty and are concerned with the effects these dynamics have on children. Papers exploring normative, conceptual and empirical issues are welcome.


Dr Thomas Bundschuh

Special Issue Guest Editor


Manuscript Submission Information

If you are interested in contributing to this Special Issue on Children, Poverty and Climate Change in Journal ASAP, please send a 250-300 word abstract (with key words and a short bio/CV)  to  Dr Thomas Bundschuh, t.bundschuh@shu.ac.uk  by July 15, 2022. Authors invited to submit a full-length paper will be notified by July 31, 2022.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page (http://journalasap.org/index.php/asap/about/submissions).


Tentative Timeline:

  1. Abstracts due: July 15, 2022.
  2. Notification of acceptance: July 31, 2022.
  3. Full papers due: November 15, 2022.
  4. Invitation to Special Issue conference: November 30, 2022.
  5. Revision of drafts and presentation of drafts of full papers at Special Issue conference: January 13/14, 2023.
  6. Revision and submission of final version: March 31, 2023.
  7. Publication: May 1, 2023.


Special Issue Guest Editor

Dr Thomas Bundschuh, PhD (transitional justice), LLM (human rights), FHEA, is a Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Sheffield Hallam University. He is an experienced litigation lawyer, a trained mediator and a trustee of Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP UK). His doctoral research comparing the transitions of South Africa (1994) and Northern Ireland (1998) was funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. He conducted field research in Rwanda and served as a humanitarian field worker in Brazil, South Africa and Uganda. Dr Bundschuh has been engaged with a range of NGOs, including FIAN International, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). His research and teaching are concerned with socio-economic rights, children’s rights and transitional justice, with a focus on the human rights response to climate change, inequality, poverty and armed conflict. Recent work has appeared in the International Journal of Transitional Justice and the Nordic Journal of Human Rights. Dr Bundschuh’s current research examines the climate crisis from the perspective of vulnerable groups, especially children, Indigenous peoples and women.



Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2021). Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2022). Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-ii/

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2022). Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-3/

Lenton, T. M., et al. (2019). Climate tipping points - too risky to bet against. Nature575(7784), 592–595. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-03595-0

Rockström, J., et al. (2009). A safe operating space for humanity: Identifying and quantifying planetary boundaries that must not be transgressed could help prevent human activities from causing unacceptable environmental change, argue Johan Rockström and colleagues. Nature461(7263), 472–475. https://doi.org/10.1038/461472a

Thiery, W., et al. (2021). Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes: Young generations are severely threatened by climate change. Science374(6564), 158–160. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abi7339

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2015). Unless we act now: The impact of climate change on children. https://www.unicef.org/reports/unless-we-act-now-impact-climate-change-children

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2021). The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis. https://www.unicef.org/reports/climate-crisis-child-rights-crisis

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (2021). Emissions Gap Report 2021: The Heat Is On - A World of Climate Promises Not Yet Delivered. https://www.unep.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2021



For a PDF Version of this CFP see: Special Issue on Children, Poverty and Climate Change