Children are the present,
let's guarantee their future.
End violence and exploitation!
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 all over the world there were 164 actions informing more than 40.000 people about their right of a healthy environment.
In 2017 the activities of children and youth are focusing on the protection from exploitation and violence. Worldwide there are more than 85 million children, who have to work daily under dangerous and exploitative conditions. Millions of children suffer from violence and war. Terre des hommes protects children from slavery and exploitation and cares for the victims of war, violence and abuse. The aim is to create safe spaces free from exploitation and violence, where children and young people find protection and safety, so they can stand their ground. Children and youth from terre des hommes projects want to contribute their part through their activities in the context of the global action month 2017.
Children are the present, let's guarantee their future. End violence and exploitation!
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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.
May we present
“I strongly believe in our power. I strongly believe we can change our future. So now we need to start working together”.
Mueda (Da) is 28 years old, a strong and articulate woman whose passion for the rights of stateless people is obvious. Her inspiring story is one of perseverance, strength and lots of support from her family, community and organisations such as SCPP, DCCN and Earth Rights.
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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.
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.
The Regional Youth Network of Southern Africa is composed of three national platform network works of Mocambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe/Zambia. Within the partner programmes are local youth networks that build to national youth network that in turn links up with the regional youth network at SACO level. At each of the three levels are youth network leaders responsible for coordinating issues. The various youth networks are involved in various thematic topics first and foremost each youth network works within the topics of the partner organizations and in addition other topics with a bearing on children and youth. At partner level youths are exposed to various capacity building measures that deepen their knowledge on key topics including child participation, self organisation and advocacy. Most of the youth actions have a focus of child protection, environment - health wellbeing of children) and migration children on the move - safe migration including exploitation and trafficking).
For communication purposes the youths make use of social media (Facebook, what sup).
In Zimbabwe and Zambia, Citizen Child is championing and promoting the Youth Media 4 x 4 approach to promote child and youth participation. All youth networks are using this to advocate for children and youth issues. During the coming year the approach is planned to be replicated in Mocambique. The photovoice is one of the child participation methodologies that is in use by children and youth members of the youth networks in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia and Mocambique for advocacy purposes.
During the Action Month, general focus for the youth networks will include launching the GAM 2017, reflecting at what exactly is GAM? Why is it important? How to make GAM a dynamic approach in ensuring there is meaningful and authentic children and young people’s participation in ending violence and exploitation against children as well as ensuring community/adult support in ending violence and exploitation of children.
This will be done through sensitising and equipping youth network members on the theme violence and exploitation of children. The youth members averaging 30 per partner will then unleash various community sensitization activities in various forms such as through theatre performances, quick chats with community member to capture their views on the theme and community dialogues. Social and mass media (live radio talk-in and TV talk shows/interviews, social media campaigns will beconducted simultaneously to the community engagements to ensure that the intended message reaches a wider audience. Through child and youth led groups, talk shows in schools and churches, targeting both children and parents so that viable solutions in ending violence and exploitation can be identified and begin to be implemented. In schools; dramas, quiz, public speaking and debate competitions will also be carried out to enhance child and youth participation in advocating against violence and exploitation. Sporting galas and community road shows will be rolled out to reach out to the community.
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 https://www.facebook.com/groups/415069668520131
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.
GAM 2017 - Activities in India & Nepal
In India, we have divided our work geographically into four zones- North, South, East and West zone. Below given are the brief plans zones wise.
A. North Zone- GAM will be observes in six states of North India viz Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Through 12 partners across the six States, the GAM will broadly include activities like Workshop on child safety and abuse, gender equality, child labour, safe spaces; street plays, rallies, painting competition, Candle march, theatre workshop etc. Through these activities, around 300 children and 300 youth group members will participate.
B. West Zone- From 14th Nov 2017 to 20th Nov 2017, 16 partners across four States of West India- Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh will be observing GAM week. Among the plethora of activities planned, the main ones include training, rallies, Children fair where parent and other stakeholder will be present and children will discuss with them on child safety issues, painting competition, wall painting, street play, consultation with Child Safety committee members. Around 2000 children and youth across the four States will be participating. Apart from this a 5 days long campaign will be organised in Madhya Pradesh during which a group of theatre artists will be performing on a play based on child sexual abuse in which more than 3000 people including children and youth will be participating.
C. East Zone- In the East zone, there are 12 partners across four states- Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam. The children and youth group members together with the partners had planned to organise GAM activities. The main activities planned are meetings and workshops, storytelling, poster making, children fair, drawing and painting events, rallies etc. Around 1500 children and youth group members will be participating in the GAM activities.
D. South Zone- Around six partners across three states- Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnatakahave planned to organised a week long GAM. During the one week, more than 1000 children and youth members will be participating in activities like tree plantation, workshops on child safety, awareness programme like rallies, street plays, wall painting etc.
Nepal’s Partner CWISH will be observing Gam from first week on November onwards. Some of the main activities includes- Local Game Competition, interaction Program with elected Representative and Children, TV Interaction Program with children on child rights and child Protection; 2 days-Training to civil society members on Child rights & child safety, 25 Forum theatres – Through Shailee theatre. Around 1500 children and 300 other stakeholders will be participating in the GAM activities.
South East Asia
The Flowers of Salween Campaign
Kayah State or Karenni State is the smallest as well as the poorest state in Myanmar. It is located in eastern part of Myanmar bordering with Shan state, Kayin State and Thailand in the east. It has a population of 286,627 according to the most updated census and accommodating about 9 ethnic minority groups of Karenni and some are Shan, Bamar and Pa Oh. It is one of the most difficult areas for communication and transportation thus it is regarded as least developing state. It is also a State of conflict prone area where civic wars made a lot of local innocent people fled to Thai border are as refugees and political stability is still not yet in a smooth condition as KNPP (Karenni National Progressive Party) and Government could not get in mutual agreement for totally peaceful Agreement for Political Dialogue.
Local ethnic people in Kayah State have already suffered from the impacts of the Moebye Dam and Lawpita Hydropower project for over three decades. The Lawpita, the fourth largest hydropower plant in Myanmar, uprooted more than 12,000 people. Thousands of troops from the Myanmar Government’s Army were deployed to provide safety to the plant, giving rise to numerous human rights abuses by the soldiers including sexual violence, killing, forced labor, etc. More than 18,000 mines have been planted around the plant and along the route of the transmission lines. Karenni people have been suffering from civil war over fifty years. The extensive military operations in 1996 forced at least 37,000 from 212 villages located near the proposed Ywathit Dam, with residents were forcibly relocated. Most of them went to the Thai border and have not dared to return home until now. This is very important matter for Karenni refugees because Thai government wants to send them back to Myanmar all the time. But there is no opportunity to survive for Karenni refugee in their originate land.
Civil Society in Kayah, being different from others, is quite silent and the local people are very humble and susceptible to any attacks or exploitation of their resources or property due to the traumatisation in civic wars. Moreover the poor accessibility to education and information made the local communities in rural area of Kayah State very vulnerable and oppressed easily. Even in Ywarthit local people did not get any information in advance. One of the quarter chief from Ywarthit said “We did not know about the dam. We know when the company carrying their construction equipments and pass through the village.”
During 2004 – 2010, a lot of local organizations most of them are religious based and a few International Organizations started to expand the development interventions in Kayah State. However these organizations could move about only in Loikaw and Dee More Soe Townships during that time. A lot of rural populace in Baw La Khae and Phar Saung townships are still in need of capacity and awareness for their community development and resource management. It is even far away for them to be able to engage in resource governance and they could not touch on any natural resource related issues due to the poor information accessibility and lacking strong and viable CBOs or CSOs network. The lack of opportunity for awareness raising and capacity development for the communities in those uncovered area still left the gap of leadership for community empowerment. The role of women in daily lives as well as community administration is still left far behind due to the leadership. Women and children are very vulnerable due to the unstable politics in the State and their involvement in planning and decision-making is very poor.
Even there is some organization working for adult but there is no group working for child and youth issue related natural resource management and ecological rights. Youth and children are always forgotten in the sector of developments. The government and developer are never takes consent and consultation from them. Those large scale development projects are violate their existing culture and rights. Young people leadership and participation are getting ignore by being those violations are exist. Children have lost their right to play, right to access good health care, right to education.
During last two years working with communities along the Salween River, we realized there are lacks of children sector regarding development projects. Last two years we worked only focus on the youth participation and motivate communities on the natural resources management. Now we have more than 70 trained young people. Some youth did initiated activities such as environmental conservation training, We Love Salween campaign, mobile exhibition and forum theatre performances.
These young people from Salween communities are already active and motivate on the issue related development. KMF would like to support to get more chance to participate and to appear their voice more louder in the natural resources management issues. Then KMF would like to fulfill the child rights for the children along the Salween River especially ecological children rights, right to play, right to access information and right to participate in environmental conservation.
According to above background and current situation, KMF would like to organize “Children! The flowers of Salween” Campaign in two villages in September and November to achieve louder voices out from young people and fulfill the rights of the children. At the same time to advocate the local and national government the issue of youth participation in natural resources management and ecological child rights. Most of the activities will lead by KMF trained youth from Salween communities.
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.
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 (www.wo-ist-mila.de).