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!


Name: Reshma








Reshma was a child labor working in carpet industry, Due to the intervention program by Centre for Integrated Development she got the opportunity to study in non formal education centre, she was a very bright child along with the leadership qualities, she always led from front and due to her leadership skills and deep concern about the child rights took her to the youth convention where she elected as youth representative and due to her ability she climbed the ladder to become the youth delegate for south Asia and represented south Asia in Germany.


She is currently a very active child right campaigner, very active in child right protection and promotion; here are some of her important works.

  • Formed Youth groups and regular meeting with them on issue related to children
  • Organizing rallies to promote various child right campaign
  • Organize plantation and environment awareness activities
  • Child right awareness program in community
  • Orientation on child rights in schools
  • Puppet shows on girl child marriage and girl education
  • Campaign to spread awareness about water pollution an air pollution
  • Lead the Global Acton Month activates in Gwalior
  • Organized exhibitions on child labor and child rights
  • Campaign against child sexual abuse

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

Your country:


Name of project partner / group:

Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) & Regional Network of the Children and Young People Trust (RNCYPT) -Chinhoyi Junior Council, Chinhoyi Child Led Group, Chinhoyi HIV Fight Club and Leos Club

Title of the activity:

Clean Up and Awareness Campaign: 12 November 2015

Short description of your activity and its topic:

The Clean Up Campaign focused on promoting the ecological rights of children while raising awreness on the importance of keeping the environement clean,safer and friendly to all children.

See also 

The Chinhoyi Child Led Groups grabbed it from the Kadoma City and took it all the way to Chinhoyi town with the theme for Global Action Month-2016:“Let’s talk future-for ecological child rights”. Saturday 12th of November 2016 was a different day in Chinhoyi town; children and young people from all walks of life made their way to the Town House where their campaign on ecological child rights was to begin. In Chinhoyi the aim of the children was to raise an alarm to the city council on the need to ensure that the environment becomes a safe place for children and young people in Chinhoyi, free of diseases, hazards that puts the lives of children at risk and impede their future. Children and young people led by example and took it upon themselves to start by ensuring that the council premises are a clean environment that all citizens would appreciate and emulate in their own homes. In small groups out of 60, children and young people took different directions in the town cleaning the environment, discussing with community members on ecological child rights. Each group of 15 children and young people had a target of reaching out to 60 community members; discuss with them on ecological child rights and encourage them to promote ecological rights of children. To the fortunate ones who had a privilege to come across the child right discourse in the past; it was a shock to realise that they owe a lot to children and young people in ensuring all their rights are fulfilled and enjoyed without any exceptions.

What did the participants think about your activity and the topic?

The participants greatly appreciated the initiative under the Global Action Month (GAM). They acknowledged that whilst they have an understanding on other child rights, they did not know much about the ecological child rights and their importance.

To the children and young people ecological child rights are viewed as the epicentre of realising all the other rights of children. They argued to say that for any home to be safe it has to be clean; community has to be clean and safe of diseases; school environment has to be clean as well. To the children recognising ecological child rights is the route to ensuring that all the other rights of children are fulfilled.

Within Chinhoyi there are disappointing practices that are leading to environmental hazards which children felt duty bearers need to consider as a matter of urgency and these are:

1. The way diapers are being disposed contaminates the environment and its becoming dangerous for children. Diapers are being disposed anyway and anywhere mixed together with other litter in communities. Children and youths indicated that on several occasions they have come across used diapers thrown recklessly on the roadsides and young children who play on the road end up getting hold of the diapers in an unhealthy way, exposing them to infection. The group felt that they should be a better way of disposing diapers. In that regard they agreed to conduct an ongoing campaign which they dubbed “Used diapers in the right place, it starts with you.”

2. Secondly, the girls indicated that the way sanitary pads are being disposed is also a health hazard. The girls indicated that in some schools there are no sanitary bins and incinerators and in most cases are forced to keep the used pads and dispose them when they are at home. This is health hazard to children and young people and school authorities should ensure sanitary bins and incinerators are readily available for the girl child.

3. Sewer bursts are not attended well on time and the more they are not attended there is a risk of children contracting diseases such as cholera. There was a big call by children and young people, firstly to community members to quickly report any sewer burst as a matter of urgency to responsible authorities; and to responsible authorities to respond urgently to sewer burst in the communities.

4. Refuse collection should be conducted on regular basis, if not daily to avoid any situation of having hips of litter at community disposal points

5. The Municipality of Chinhoyi should improve access to clean, safe water for all children especially the vulnerable ones living in poor communities. The level of participation of children and young people at the event was the best; second to none. Their expressions informed us of the level of commitment they do have in ensuring their ecological rights are fulfilled. They would always reiterate that it is the government’s responsibility to promote, respect and fulfil the ecological child rights. The commitment by children and young people in Chinhoyi was that; they will leave no stone un-turned till their ecological child rights are realised and fulfilled.

Please tell us something about the public reaction / response to your activity. If you were able to reach the media, please include the articles, posts, photos, videos, links the annex

What made the campaign more interesting was that community members felt challenged and joined children and young people to clean the environment. They acknowledge that as adults they have got a lot to learn from children who have shown interest and commitment in ensuring that Chinhoyi Town is the best and safe place for all children

Were you able to achieve concrete improvements? Please elaborate if applicable

We managed to engage the local authorities, health care service providers, community leaders and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) that also supported with materials for the clean up campaign and co-facilitated in the discussion after the clean up campaign. All these stakeholders were engaged to ensure a multi-sectoral approicach towards realising the ecological child rights. As a follow up to this activity, members of the community invited the child and youth led groups to carry out similar activities in the high density suburbs were environmental issues are not well understood nor appreciated.

Additional comments: Whatever you’d like to add, to compliment, to criticize, any “lessons learned”…

We greatly appreciate the technical and financial support that we received from our local stakeholders. Above all, we greatly appreciate the funding that came from Terres Des Homes (TDH) to the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) and its partnering Youth Network- Regional Network of the Children and Young People Trust (RNCYPT) and enabled us to undertake this activity succesfully. The support we received helped us in learning and extracting the children’s concerns and key priorities. We also learnt that there is still lack of actual and right information especially in ecological child rights . There is need to do more similar awareness campaigns in order to ensure a positive future for children’s ecological rights.

Please send us some photos showing people in action per e-mail. Describe briefly where and in which context each photo was taken

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:


Project Partner: Ho Chi Minh City Child Welfare Organisation

Training on Child Rights 

The participants in the Peer group learned many topics that help them become good peer facilitators.


Children and youth of the organization“ Centre for Integrated Development“ organized a ralley in Shankarpur. Aim of the ralley was to do awareness building for the community about the conservation of environment. Children were raising the slogans "Save water save tomorrow", "We love trees" , " Save trees save ourselves"


GAM 2016 children and youth together with terre des hommes' project partner Psycho Trust Karur are getting active to protect their environment.

We work towards ensuring that children have access to healthy food, clean water and medical care. This orientation was given to School Children in Nerur Government school. Children have planet 50 sapling around the school.

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.