Action month

Let´s talk future –
for ecological child rights!

The Global Action Month on Child Rights (GAM) was founded in 2014 by children and youth of the terre des hommes’ International Youth Network. On the occasion of the anniversary of the UN Children’s Rights Convention children and youth worldwide claim their rights in the action month of November. Last year participated around 40.000 people all over the world in 128 actions.

Signet of GAM 2016

For GAM 2016 the focus is et on „ecological child rights“. A healthy environment is a precondition for children’s physical and mental health. Without it they cannot grow up and become healthy members of society. Unfortunately, this fundamental right of children to a healthy environment is today being violated a million times over: owing to environmental degradation and the exploitation of nature, countless children have no access to clean drinking water or to safe food. Many children suffer under environmentally unacceptable living conditions and are constantly exposed to pollution harmful to health.

More information you can find under:

For GAM 2016 children and youth together with terre des hommes’ project partners are getting active to protect their environment. They work towards ensuring that children have access to healthy food, clean water and medical care.
Let´s talk future – for ecological child rights!

About terre des hommes

The goal of terre des hommes is a “terre des hommes”, an “earth of humanity”. We protect children from slavery and exploitation, help refugee children, take care of the victims of war, violence and abuse and look after children’s upbringing and education. We support boys and girls whose families have died of AIDS, advocate for children’s right to a healthy environment and the protection of discriminated population groups. terre des hommes Germany supports more than 407 projects in 31 countries. 

That´s happening right now:

Intergenerational dialogue of the very young Joshua Hofert (20 years), German youth delegate of terre des hommes and member of the Presidium, and the bit more aged Anna Büschemann (53 years), coordinator of the international youth network of terre des hommes in the course of organizing the “Global Action Month 2016”

Let’s get active for GAM 2016 - for ecological child rights!

May I introduce ...

Muyoka Shibulo

Age: 21

Region: Southern Africa/ Zambia


My name is Muyoka. I am the regional delegate for southern Africa, I reside in Livingstone, Zambia. I work for Environment Africa as a youth representative/ President of the Zambia Youth Network. I am the second in a family of 4, 2 boys and 2 girls, I am currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in International Relations & Development at Mulungushi University in Kabwe Zambia.

Our most notable project so far is the photo voice project:
A few months ago we as the youths to took part in a project called Photo Voice where children in disadvantaged communities were given the chance to identify the problems they faced in their communities in relation to the Environment, Health and Safety, Education and the right to play. Later on, the children had an exhibition in the Livingstone Museum and in attendance were the local authority (city council) representatives from the Ministry of Education, the public and the media. This project was a major success as it helped in raising awareness on the challenges that children face in their respective communities, and who better to share these problems than the children themselves.

Looking at the positive reviews we got from the general public (after a week of exhibiting) we plan to carry out more exhibitions like this during GAM 21016.


Latin America

Latin America

The economy has considerable grown the last years. For the poorest it means higher prices, particularly for food. Global warming brings of draught or extreme heavy rains or also natural catastrophes like hurricanes or flood which lead to bad harvest. Even so the governments in the region still apply primary products exploitation and industrialisation –  the protection of nature and climate keep having an inferior importance.  Therefore is the terre des hommes topic for the children’s rights to a healthy environment a main action point for the projects in Latin America.

Colourful ecological diversity at a seed fair in Bolivia.

What do young people do in the terre des hommes projects?
The topic »ecological rights« is very important for the young people in Latin America. They have decided to include in the agenda of the local, national and international policy makers’ solutions to protect the environment in collaboration with networks and organisations. Other goals are the anchorage of cross-cultural education in public school, the nutrition at schools with healthy local products and to achieve a better protection of the population from the damages of mining.

That´s happening right now:



Terre des hommes support projects in the South of Africa in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Southafrica. In East Africa terre des hommes promotes projects in Sudan, in West Africa in West Sahara, Burkina Faso and Mali. Many countries are far from a democratic regime. The governing elites enrich and mismanagement and corruption are extended. The public measures to fight poverty and to assure the most important basic needs like nutrition, access to clean drinking water, healthcare and housing are not enough. These shortages are suffered mostly by poor children. Terre des hommes cares overall that children get healthcare and food and go to school. Furthermore it is important to prevent work exploitation of children, trafficking of children or sexual violence as well as protecting the ecological children’s rights being access to clean drinking water the most important.

What do young people do in the terre des hommes projects?
In Southern Africa child participation has become a common rallying point among young people as they agitate against the increasing scourge of child rights violations. They have formed their own structures in schools and communities to have their voices heard on matters affecting their lives. They participate in campaigns against ecological child rights violations, early child marriages, child labour, teenage pregnancies and child sexual abuse and exploitation.  They have adopted the new social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp as essential media platforms for sharing of information and experiences. One of the topics that is being taken up at different levels is children’s right to play.

Follow them on Facebook

That´s happening right now:

South Asia

Young people engage for a pesticide-free agriculture in their village near Calcutta.

Terre des hommes supports projects in South Asia in India, Nepal and Pakistan. The region faces big challenges. The poor-rich gap has increased the last years and takes the fertile soil into political friction. Moreover the region suffers the consequences of climate change. Terre des hommes has multiple working focuses in the region.

We help people to deal with the changing nature situations, try to attenuate the consequences of the catastrophes and accompany them in the reconstruction. The main focuses in India are the protection of children against work exploitation and sexual exploitation as well as promotion children’s health support.

What do young people do in the terre des hommes projects?
Many terre des hommes youth groups in South Asia are involved in the «ecological children’s rights». In India around 3.000 young people from 13 states have founded connected youth networks. They want to increase the ecological awareness and clarify that the compliance of the ecological rights is the requirement for the life of current and future generations. Until now they are concentrated on the water and soil pollution and in the future they’ll focus on environmental pollution through plastic garbage and the use of pesticides.

That´s happening right now:

South East Asia

The region is affected by an unstable political situation with armed conflicts, violations of the human rights and merciless overexploitation of nature. The economy grows but the big poor-rich gap stays. Many people live under the poverty level, especially ethnic minorities. Children’s rights are disregarded in many sectors.  The preservation of the biological diversity, support to ethnic minorities and protection of the rivers are especially important in our projects. Because of this terre des hommes has created the campaign »Our rivers – Our life« in which especially children and young people campaign for the preservation of the rivers.

What do young people do in the terre des hommes projects?
Child participation is a cross-cutting theme in many of the projects in Southeast Asia and is given greater emphasis with the strengthening of the SEA Youth Network in the seven countries, the pursuit of the Child Rights Audit, the formation of the Child Rights Country Teams in 4 countries, the consolidation of the Mekong Youth Assembly and the involvement of youth leaders in regional bodies like the ASEAN Youth Forum and the ASEAN People’s Forum.

Ecological Child Rights is bannered by an ongoing regional campaign, «Our Rivers Our Life» (OROL), which is conducted in all 7 countries in SEA (Thailand, Burma, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines and Vietnam). Children and youth groups, both in schools and communities, are actively participating in this campaign through awareness-raising, community radio programs, formation of «River Watch Groups» and dialogue-lobby with decision-makers to promulgate policies towards better protection of rivers and the environment in general.

Global Action Month 2014
In November 2014, there were 13 activities in the region for the Global Action Month. They included campaigns to promote ecological child rights through banner painting, music and parade, campaigns to promote the provisions of UNCRC in the countries through theatre performances, city-wide conferences, and facebook posts.

Youth from Mekong region, which includes 6 countries (China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar), celebrated the 25th anniversary of the UNCRC with a focus on Ecological Children’s Rights. They went to three provinces in Thailand to learn about the mega-development projects in the area and about its effects on the health and livelihood of the people. Within the study trips, the members of the Mekong Youth Assembly campaigned for ecological children’s rights.

That´s happening right now:



In Germany refugee and immigrant children live often under difficult conditions. Girls and boys that had to leave their homeland because of prosecution, war, child trafficking or lack of prospects towards Germany are discriminated in many life’s situations. They don’t always have an easy access to education or employment. A lot of them are hardly traumatized because of the experiences in their country or escaping.

The work of terre des hommes in Germany aims to help refugee and immigrant children accomplishing their rights. The focus of the projects is the promotion of education, learning and inclusion.

Also in Germany children and youth live on the street. It is estimated that 9000 young people spend most of their time on the street. terre des hommes supports initiatives that encourage girls and boys to take their lives into their own hands.

What do young people do in Germany?
In Germany active children and youth are united in children’s rights teams. In approximately 40 cities all over Germany there are teams that inform about the work of terre des hommes and child rights through actions on the street and schools. Their main topics are street children, ecological child rights and child soldiers. Youth developed also an action about underage unaccompanied refugees: who’s interested can follow the way of a refugee child on a website, from the escape country until the arrival in Germany (

That´s happening right now:

© 2016 terre des hommes Deutschland e.V.