Kinderrechte in Deutschland

Projekte von Schülern

Quote children: “Children have a right to health.” “Children have the right to be cared for.” “Children have the right to protection during war.” “All children have the same rights.” “Children have the right to education.” “Children have the right to learning.” “Children have the right to protection from exploitation.” Children have rights. And sometimes you may have to get a little louder to point out these rights, as the children are doing here. Because these children’s rights are not always complied with. This is true for Germany as well as for many other parts of the world. In Germany there are many groups of children who fight for children's rights to be respected. Again and again, these groups organise activities where they point out children's rights. The groups are supported by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.. Quote interviewer (megaphone): “What do UNICEF kickers actually do?“ Quote child: “Well, we stand up for children's rights in the world and we play soccer to collect donations …“ Who joins such groups and why? And what exactly do these children promote? 1. Anniversary: 25 Years of Children’s Rights 25 years have passed since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted unanimously by almost all countries of the world. This anniversary is being celebrated at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. In the course of this, several groups of children are presenting their projects to the Federal President and his partner. But people are also reminded not to forget what exactly was agreed upon at that time. For children's rights are not always and everywhere respected as agreed upon in the Convention back then. Quote girl: “Walls can fall, as Berlin has shown, and fates can turn. For many years, our campaigns have made the world of children better. Free as a bird, that's how I can move around. But some people seem to be outlaws, somehow, such as all the refugees at sea or the many families fleeing from war. And yet, each person should have the right to go where they find conditions to live and work. In peace and safety.” Quote girl: “My talent for UNICEF“. This motto reflects the thought that we young people don't necessarily have that much money to donate, but everyone has a talent. And this talent can be used for others. For example, our group considered organising courses with our talents. Be it baking, dancing or even…maths. I, for one, have sewn nets and from the earned profit I could make the lives of other children easier.” The invitation to Schloss Bellevue, to the Federal President and his partner, shows the groups that support children's rights together with UNICEF the importance and value of their work. Without the commitment of many individuals nothing would change in this world and their commitment helps many children worldwide to have a better life. Quote teenager: “We are part of an enormous movement, which is supported by our Federal President, by the patroness Ms Schadt …“ 2. Children of Düsseldorf It's a rainy Saturday afternoon near Schloss Benrath close to Düsseldorf. But despite the bad weather, the group SchokoFair has set up a stand for a campaign promoting fair trade food. The children of the group SchokoFair come from the Montessori secondary and comprehensive school in Düsseldorf. They campaign for the abolition of child labour in the manufacture of chocolate – since one right of the Convention on the Rights of the Child says: children shall be protected from economic exploitation. This means that children must not be abused as cheap labour but are to be given the chance of a good education. Quote child: “I fight for children's rights and against child labour in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.“ Interviewer: “And what exactly are you doing?“ Quote boy: “We inform people that child labour is involved in many chocolates. That you can also get chocolate with labels, where no child labour is involved.“ Quote boy: “When I learned that children have to work hard on the cocoa plantations, my soul was just touched. They slave away 18 hours a day and that's really very bad. Before, I also bought, for example, unfairly traded chocolate. That's normal, 'cause before, you didn't know that there is unfairly traded chocolate. 'Cause they don't inform about it and that's not good.“ Quote girl: “They simply mustn't make children work. Well, when you're 14 already and have a paper round, that's okay, but don't start to haul 30-kilo bags or so at the age of six.“ Quote boy: “I started at SchokoFair 'cause I found it rather unfair that children have to work on the cocoa plantations all day and break their bones or get hurt really bad – and everything so that we get cocoa or chocolate or so, and I thought that's not fair, and that's why I signed up for SchokoFair.“ The children and teenagers organize a whole series of activities and events such as this stand for fairly produced foods. Moreover, with the help of adults they have established their own website where their activities and their fight against child labour is publicised. Here you can read about everything the children have already done and also what successes they have achieved through their efforts. With their activities the children have even managed to get as far as to the German Chancellor who spoke with them about the problem of child labour. Quote child: " What I liked best was when I took a picture with Angela Merkel, when I just approached her and asked her. Yes, I was totally happy that she agreed.“ Quote child: “Actually, what I enjoyed most was when the whole working group was with the Federal Chancellor. We also visited the Bundestag and talked to the Chancellor … talked to other politicians. Some gave long speeches.“ Quote child: “Yeah, to us it was just fun that we children support children. As helpers. That it's not the grown-ups who do it but we children.“ Quote child: “You just have to be a big group. If there aren't many of us and aren't loud enough to really get on their nerves …if there's only one single child ... sure, that can have an effect, too, but if a large group in front of a company building is beating on drums, annoying and shouting, people are more likely to look out of the window thinking: ”Damn, come on, just make a move“. And that's why many should join in and other people and grown-ups, too … and sign and, for example, write something against it on Facebook, so that the chocolate companies just realize that they're acting stupid.“ 3. What Rights Do Children Have? Children's rights are described in a convention in a long text with 54 articles. This sounds rather complicated – but what are the most important things mentioned there about children's rights? According to UNICEF Germany these ten rights are the most important rights written down in the Convention. Equality: All children have the same rights, no matter in which continent or country they live, no matter if they are girls or boys or if they are rich or poor. All have the same rights. Health: Children have the right to health. Thus, people must ensure that children receive a good nutrition, be able to move, be in contact with nature and grow up healthy. And they are entitled to medical care when they are ill. Education: Those who have a good education can improve their chances in life. Therefore, all children have a right to education, irrespective of where they grow up or how poor or rich their parents are. Play and leisure: Playing and sufficient free time are important when you grow up. Children must have enough freedom to be able to play and develop. Freedom of expression and participation: Children have the right to express their opinions freely. Furthermore, they are entitled to have a say in decisions and to participate in them. Non-violent education: Regardless of whether they are raised by their own parents or other adults – violence must not be part of education. This applies to life at home as well as at school. Protection during war and flight: Particularly during war and escape children have to be especially protected. Contrary to adults, they are less able to defend themselves and therefore must be protected by them from potential threats. Protection from economic and sexual exploitation: Nowhere in the world must children be misused as cheap labour by anybody. Moreover, they must be protected from becoming victims of sexual exploitation. Parental care: Children have a right to expect that their parents will care deeply for them. And this applies equally to biological parents and to foster parents who look after the children. Special care and support in case of disability: Particularly children whose physical or mental abilities are impaired need special help from other people. We have to take special care of them. 4. Children of Lörrach Also in Lörrach, in the southwest of Germany, a group of children have united as young ambassadors of UNICEF to promote children's rights. The children have planted a lime tree, a ”children's rights lime tree“ in a park. Every month they decorate the tree anew according to a motto representing a certain right of the child. This month they decorate the tree with objects characterizing the children's right to education. Quote girl: ”Our beautiful children's rights lime tree. Well, what's beautiful is that it stands just at the registry office, a beautiful place, too, where couples get married and it was the place where all children gathered at our children's rights festival. Where everyone can go - and which is open to the public - so as to sort of realise one's children's rights again – where you can think. It's a place of rest. You can use it for anything and it's a symbol of children's rights. And that's how you can always remember.“ Quote boy: ”Well, I believe it's kind of a symbol that it's not exactly clear to all people right from the start how important children's rights are and that they grow as slowly as the tree. I think that's really a good symbol of it.“ Quote girl: ”I find the tree has great importance 'cause it attracts attention. First of all it shows that others are supportive, like us, for example, and at the same time, when you walk past it and just think there are rights which are not respected everywhere, this sets you thinking. That's also one reason why I've joined this group, because I myself just want to show that we’re interested and might convince other people that maybe, they can do something themselves. I just find it good that the tree shows it that way.“ Quote girl: ”Actually, I learned about this from a friend 3 or 4 years ago, and I've thought that I 've grown up in such luxury that I want to return it somehow. I have everything I can wish for. I have an education, I have food at home, so I don't really know how well off I am. And only since I started here I've realized how much I actually have and how much you can return, too.“ Quote girl: „… 'cause it's actually important that relatively many children support it, 'cause it's nice when children help other children. That it's not always the grown-ups who do that.“ 5. UNICEF and Children’s Rights UNICEF, the United Nations Children’ Fund, honours projects advocating children's rights every year. And every year, there are more pupils and new schools where groups are formed to explore the subject of children's rights. The event with the Federal President in Berlin or the award ceremony of UNICEF in Frankfurt illustrate the importance of this work and how seriously the commitment of these children is taken who campaign for children's rights. Quote girl: ”It was definitely really exciting, a great experience and a huge honour to be taken so seriously for once and to receive so much attention from someone so important. And so it certainly became clear, too, how important our work is and how well received, and what we can achieve.“ Rights for children cannot be taken for granted, neither in Germany nor the rest of the world. In Germany, there are many groups and children striving to ensure that these rights are respected and complied with, too. There are many ways to help. You can raise funds, support an established project, form your own group together with other children, collect signatures or simply point out children's rights to other people. Which activity for children's rights do you want to start tomorrow?