Nansen Primary School and UNICEF
Throughout the school year 2016/17, children from over 100 schools and representing the full range of ethnic diversity of Birmingham’s communities have been involved in an arts inspired project to explore the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The project has been overseen by UNICEF working with The CORE Education Trust, Birmingham City Council and the Department for Education. Outputs have included published poetry, a live performance at The Birmingham Rep and this series of short films.
Each short film represents a school. Children were invited to consider the full range of the Rights of the Child and reflect on one which was intensely personal to them. Personifying one of the articles that make up the charter, child by child through scripts the children wrote themselves, the films build into a diverse and emotional expression from a seven year-old reflecting on his right to express his identity as a British Asian through to a Muslim teenager expressing his anger at being denied the Right to Health by a wasteful health service. The children relate their right to a daily expression of changed behaviours in their schools and homes.
This short film gives pupils at Nansen Primary School an opportunity to reflect on the Rights of the Child and talk about an aspect that is personal to them.
The films are having an impact in schools across the UK where the Rights Respecting Schools initiative is being rolled out. www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. The Convention changed the way children are viewed and treated, i.e. as human beings with a distinct set of rights instead of passive objects of care and charity. The Birmingham project is part of a global commitment to The Rights by UNICEF. The rights are widely available on line, this links to a child friendly version.