Global Action Month
Promote children's environmental rights! Act now!
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. Since 2014, the GAM has become the most successful project of the International Youth Network, which has been in existence since 2011 and serves the exchange of young people from the terre des hommes project regions and Germany. In 2014 152 activities were carried out, in 2017 there were 223: young people from Zambia started information campaigns against violence in schools. In Zimbabwe, statements by the young people made it to Sunday Mail, the largest national weekly newspaper in the country. In India, girls and boys denounced violence against women. In Pakistan, girls were educated about the consequences of child marriage in art and theatre workshops. And in Nepal, young people drove to the villages and protested against exploitative child labour.
For GAM 2018 the focus is on „promoting environmental 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 http://www.tdh.de/was-wir-tun/arbeitsfelder/gesunde-umwelt.html
- to mobilize for the adoption of eco-friendly behavior and sustainable lifestyles through community-based activities
- to raise awareness on the effects of environmental destruction, degradation and pollution on children and
- to advocate for the establishment of binding local, national, regional and international legislation that respects, protects and guarantees the environmental rights of children and future generations.
Please join us and get active for environmental child rights.
Promote children's environmental rights! Act now!
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
My name is Flora Salvador, I am 22 years old and I am the coordinator of the Youth Network in Mozambique. For eight years I have been part of Rede da Criança, the partner organization of Terre des Hommes Germany in Mozambique.
My name is Frederico Maduela, I'm 19 years old, I'm a young reporter for Rede da Criança. I joined Rede da Criança when I was 11 years old.
For further questions please contact
What does the Global Action Month mean for the Latin American youth?
Nowadays in Latin America we are living dictatorships where universal human rights are evidently violated. Our daily fight in our territories is a fight for the life and migration is a growing phenomenon in Latin America caused by economical factors, unemployment, civic insecurity, a pursuit of well-being and better life conditions, which is what in these last months violated our right to live. Nevertheless, as right-defending youths, even is politically chased, criminalized, deprived from fundamental rights, we keep creating and proposing because we want to build a society where the universal human rights are respected in a participative society without borders. In our region, the Global Action Month brings an opportunity for the youth to express their demands, make proposals of changes in favor of our rights and in defense of our territories. It means a way for us to have a dialogue with the adult world that sometimes underestimates our organizing capacities and being actors of change. Moreover, it’s established as a space for going in depth into certain topics that mean something after all year’s work. These spaces allow us to achieve child and youth participation in the community. It means an opportunity to show all the actions that we’ve been carrying along in our territories and training spaces which are, in fact, our organizations, to show how important defending our territories is and all what this means to make a better life for people that historically have been vulnerable due to capitalist, patriarchal and racist right-wing governments. For 2018 we have planned different actions and activities in occasion of the Global Action Month, such as: - festivals - fairs - banner painting - concerts - debates - carnivals - security workshops - painting workshops With all these activities we want to create bonds of trust, show solidarity to our fellow countries in the violent context we’re living in and support new forms of expression from the unique, artistic and creative side that’s defending the children’s and youth’s rights.
Global Action Month (GAM 2018) Southern Africa ready to explode! -
14 tdh partners! A massive 15-member Youth Network! Plans ready, set to go! November 2018, Southern Africa is ready for you! Every year the TDH International Youth Network (IYN) comprising children and young people in partner projects up to the age of 25, celebrate what they call Global Action Month every November! Launched in 2014, this has fast become an annual signature month in the tdh family across the world. The global Action Month, 2018 is running under the theme: “Promoting Environment Children’s Rights”. In Southern Africa it continues to grow in leaps and bounds with us the young people in partner projects across Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe initiating, implementing and reporting on a colourful diversity of themed activities. We then upload each activity report onto the GAM world map for posterity! The first week for most youth networks means going back to the beginning. We will do a refresher for old members and introduce new ones to what GAM really stands for. Using Radio, Television, Print and Social Media to launch the event and make certain every child and young person in our communities is aware and participating! There are even plans to run a radio advert throughout November month to keep the fire burning! The second and third weeks we go into the communities to raise awareness on the importance of protecting environmental child rights. Community theatre, newspaper articles, talk shows, debates, clean-ups, drawing and painting sessions are some of the activities that will light up Southern Africa. Young people continue to find more creative activities to engage communities including dumpsite clean ups and historical sites restorations as well as working days to help build education centres. The 4th week is the change week where we challenge communities to ensure they deliver environmental child rights daily. Vibrant marches, petitions and engagement with stakeholders to map a way forward will underline this critical time. As young people we not only want communities and stakeholders to know about environmental child rights; we also want them to actively promote these rights so that children get to experience them. For the children and young people GAM provides them with the platform to advocate for children’s rights. In Southern Africa, as young people we are the change that we want to see. Everyday!
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.
"Flight and expulsion, wars, environmental destruction, exploitation, violence ... Many children around the world suffer as a result. There is a lot to do for Weltretter (world saviors). You can help children in need! Children and Youth join terre des hommes in Germany and help us in fighting against exploitation of children and for a better world. How one can help? Young People found WeltretterTeams with their friends. On our site www.weltretter.de you will find many world saving missions and action examples. More than 200 Weltretter are currently helping children in need throughout Germany."
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. .