IN THE past week, there has been a lot of discussion about the rights and responsibilities of young people.

First, there was the difficult issue of Shamima Begum, the young woman who, at the age of 15, left Britain to join Isis and was found in a refugee camp last week, heavily pregnant at 19. She said she wanted to return to this country to have her baby and has now given birth to a boy.

Then there were the teenagers who joined the international Youth Strike 4 Climate protest about climate change on Friday instead of going to school.

Many people have argued that Shamima was still a child when she and two of her friends went to Gatwick four years ago and flew off to become a jihadi bride and therefore her choice wasn’t valid, so she should be regarded as a victim who was groomed.

She said, in an interview with The Times from the Syrian refugee camp where she currently is, that she “doesn’t regret coming here” and that her life in Raqqa with her Dutch Muslim convert husband had been “normal… the one I wanted”.

She was not “fazed” by seeing a severed head in a bin because it had belonged to an enemy of Isis. She fled from Isis’s last stand in Syria a fortnight ago because she feared for her unborn child after her two previous children had died from malnutrition and disease.

“In the end, I just could not endure any more. I just could not take it. Now all I want to do is come home to Britain,” she told the newspaper.

The alternative argument about Shamima’s situation is that she has made her bed and should now lie in it.

It’s a difficult one, isn’t it? If she is allowed to come back to Britain, could she still be a security risk? Having been brainwashed by Isis, she still believes in its cause and that enemies of Islam should be put to death. She was also perfectly capable at the age of 15 to conspire with her friends and with Isis to lie to their families, organise flights, transport themselves to Gatwick and join Isis.

Despite the fact that she chose to go to a war zone, she may not have had the maturity to foresee that she would have children and that a war zone is not the best place to bring them up. Now she is a vulnerable young mother grieving for her dead children and languishing in a refugee camp, where life is bound to be very harsh. She has a mother’s naturally protective feelings towards her children, which contradicts her harshness towards the enemies of Isis who suffered horrific deaths.

The dilemma faced by the Government is this. Do we protect Shamima or do we protect this country from her?

By contrast to Shamima’s decision, at 15, to join a murderous terrorist organisation and choose to give up her freedom to live as a jihadi bride, teenagers in this country were out in force on Friday trying to get government to take the issue of climate change seriously.

While I don’t support their decision to make their protest during school time; sacrificing the privilege of education that millions of other children around the world would give their eye teeth for, I can see why they did. It has garnered far more media attention than if they had done it during the half-term holidays. Critics have wondered why they didn’t give up their own time to protest and that’s probably the reason.

On a bigger scale, what they were doing is positive. These teenagers want governments to listen to their fears about climate change and work towards a better environment for their future. They believe that the issue has been sidelined because it is not an immediate threat and because Brexit has been preoccupying the Government for the past two-and-a-half years.

One teenage campaigner said: “We stand to lose the most from catastrophic climate change, yet we’re the ones who’ve been excluded from the most serious conversations.”

Perhaps in order to be included in the conversations they should lead by example. Are they prepared to make sacrifices to help the environment? Are they willing to give up their mobile phones, predicted to be the biggest tech polluter in the world by 2040, or their fast fashion, made in factories in China, one of the planet’s biggest polluters, or in Asia and then transported halfway round the world on polluting container ships? Are they willing to give up cars and internet shopping delivered by vans and flights to faraway holiday destinations? Can they ditch their plastic in all its forms?

When they have shown how serious they are about fighting climate change, that’s when they will prove their voices are worth hearing.