Child Rights: Films for Children

UNCRC (FULL TEXT) | Child Rights Coalition Asia

Film is a powerful tool for literacy. Film can transport you anywhere in the world and highlight issues facing people in other countries effectively and is a particularly useful tool in illustrating the lives children around the world live in comparison to our own.

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I teach in Scotland and therefore I have levelled the films in line with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. For those outside of Scotland, age guidance is:

Early Level: Nursery to Primary 1, age approximately 3-5

First Level: Primary 2 to Primary 4, age approximately 5-9

Second Level: Primary 5 to Primary 7, age approximately 9-11/12

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PLEASE WATCH FILMS BEFORE SHARING THEM TO GAUGE SUITABILITY FOR YOUR CLASS. THE FILMS LISTED HAVE SCENES THAT MAY BE UPSETTING IF NOT HANDLED SENSITIVELY. YOU MAY NEED ADDITIONAL PERMISSION TO SHOW SOME OF THESE FILMS IN YOUR SETTING.

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News

CBBC NewsroundFirst and Second Level (Primary 3-7)

  • Article 12: You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.

Newsround is watched daily in classrooms across the UK and is an excellent means of engaging children with a variety of topics, globally and locally.

While watching Newsround often hits a number of UNCRC articles, I link it most to Article 12 because of the way I approach it with my classes.

Ideas: Every Day, we watch Newsround after lunch and afterwards I randomly select five children to talk about the story from the news they liked the most and why. I use the random selectors so that every child is given a voice- not just the enthusiastic children- and those who find it harder to speak up and share their opinion are always encouraged and validated. All classes will have enthusiastic children who are willing to speak up and they are great role models, but the voice of quieter and less confident children is equally important too.

The youngest class I have watched Newsround with daily is a Primary 3 class and they looked forward to it every day. Their parents also reported anecdotally after week one that it was one of their favourite lessons, so I have no hesitation about using Newsround with children of that age (6-7 years old).

One of the things I particularly like about Newsround is their commitment to including Disabled presenters and content featuring Disabled people- that is not necessarily about Disability. This is important to me as a Disability campaigner but has also shown me that children are curious about Disability. They have questions about it and they enjoy being able to ask them in a safe environment free from judgement. So if children in your class want to discuss Disability after watching an episode of Newsround, I highly recommend having open discussions and helping them to realise that discussions around Disability are not taboo and are to be welcomed.

Activism

‘The Glasgow Girls’– Second Level (Primary 7) and Secondary

  • Article 1: Everyone under 18 has these rights.
  • Article 2: All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated
    unfairly on any basis
  • Article 6: You have the right to be alive.
  • Article 12: You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.
  • Article 38: You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the army or take part in war.

“An Amnesty International award winning documentary filmed in 2005 when it was standard practice for immigration officials to force their way into family homes of asylum seekers in the early hours of the morning. They were removed to a detention centre at Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire pending deportation. Most had never posed any flight risk and for many the experience was frighteningly reminiscent of the places they had fled. A group of girls, some asylum seekers, some indigenous local kids built a campaign and eventually succeeded in making the practice politically unacceptable.”

*The scenes at the start are quite upsetting, so I usually fast forward past those when using this film in schools.

‘The Children Who Disappear’ (Follow up to The Glasgow Girls)- Second Level (Primary 7) and Secondary

  • Article 1: Everyone under 18 has these rights.
  • Article 2: All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated
    unfairly on any basis
  • Article 6: You have the right to be alive.
  • Article 12: You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.
  • Article 38: You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the army or take part in war.

“The follow up to “The Glasgow Girls”, having won their battle to save their friend from deportation, in 2007 they turn their attention to the wider political stage and head for the Scottish Parliament.”

*The link in the text seems to cut short before the end, so is not the full version of the film.

‘He Named Me Malala’ Rated PG- Second Level (Primary 6 & 7) and Secondary

  • Article 1: Everyone under 18 has these rights.
  • Article 2: All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated
    unfairly on any basis
  • Article 6: You have the right to be alive.
  • Article 12: You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.
  • Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
  • Article 28: You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.

“He Named Me Malala is a 2015 American documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim. The film presents the young Pakistani female activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who has spoken out for the rights of girls, especially the right to education, since she was very young. The film also recounts how she miraculously survived and has become even more eloquent in her quest after being hunted down and shot by a Taliban gunman as part of the organization’s violent opposition to girls’ education in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. The title refers to the Afghani folk hero Malalai of Maiwand, after whom her father named her.”

Conflict and War

The Most Shocking Second A Day‘ and ‘Still The Most Shocking Second A Day‘ by Save the Children– Second Level and Secondary

  • Article 22: You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been
    forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention.
  • Article 27: You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met.
    You should not be disadvantaged so that you can’t do many of the things other kids can do.
  • Article 38: You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the army or take part in war.
  • Article 10: If you live in a different country than your parents do, you have the right to be together in the same place.

“As Britain go to war a young girl’s life gets turned upside-down as she is forced to flee the UK with her parents. The film was inspired by the stories of real child refugees fleeing war and persecution, and was created by Save the Children in response to the British Governments treatment of refugee children fleeing the war in Syria.” It provides a powerful reminder that the refugee crisis is happening here and it’s happening now.”

So You Think You Can Stay‘- Second Level (Primary 7) and Secondary

  • Article 3: All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.
  • Article 10: If you live in a different country than your parents do, you have the right to be together in the same place.
  • Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
  • Article 22: You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been
    forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention.
  • Article 34: You have the right to be free from sexual abuse.
  • Article 38: You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the army or take part in war.

“Amir Najjer from Gaza was tortured by masked men and accused of collaborating with Israeli forces. In Norway, his application for asylum has been refused. Authorities believe he can go back to the Gaza Strip, although the UN states that it´s unsafe to return. Now, Amir has signed up for the brand new talent show, So You Think You Can Stay, by Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS), and hopes that your vote can help him stay in in Norway. This powerful campaign film by NOAS uses a spoof talent show format to highlight the refuge process in Norway, and exposes the complexities of the application system. While the contestants and judges are fictitious, their stories are based on real asylum cases taken on by NOAS.”

*The word ‘rape’ is used in this clip, but it does not elaborate on what rape is. It is important that children have completed sex education and Health & Wellbeing programmes about personal safety before watching this clip & that staff think it is appropriate for the cohort.

‘Inside Hana’s Suitcase’ Rated 12A- Second (Primary 7) and Secondary

  • Article 6: You have the right to be alive.
  • Article 9: You have the right to live with your parent(s), unless it is bad for you. You have the right to live with a family who cares for you.
  • Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
  • Article 30: You have the right to practice your own culture, language and religion – or any you choose. Minority and indigenous groups need special protection of this right.
  • Article 38: You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the army or take part in war.

“”Inside Hana’s Suitcase”, is the poignant story of two young children who grew up in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia and the terrible events that they endured just because they happened to be born Jewish. Based on the internationally acclaimed book “Hana’s Suitcase” which has been translated into 40 languages, the film is an effective blend of documentary and dramatic techniques. In addition to tracing the lives of George and Hana Brady in the 1930’s and 40’s, “Inside Hana’s Suitcase” tells the present-day story of “The Small Wings”, a group of Japanese children, and how their passionate and tenacious teacher, Fumiko Ishioka, helped them solve the mystery of Hana Brady, whose name was painted on an old battered suitcase that they received from Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi death camp built in Poland. The film’s plot unfolds as told through contemporary young storytellers who act as the omniscient narrators. They seamlessly transport us through 70 years of history and back and forth across three continents, and relate to us a story of unspeakable sadness and also of shining hope. For this is a Holocaust story unlike others. It provides a contemporary global perspective and lessons to be learned for a better future. Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Larry Weinstein, “Inside Hana’s Suitcase” is a powerful journey full of mystery and memories, brought to life through the first-hand perspectives of Fumiko, Hana’s brother George, and of Hana herself.”

Children and Young People, In Their Own Words- Second Level (Primary 7) and Secondary

Wrong Trainers Series- The Real Stories of Children

  • Article 9: You have the right to live with your parent(s), unless it is bad for you. You have the right to live with a family who cares for you.
  • Article 18: You have the right to be raised by your parent(s) if possible.
  • Article 24: You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a
    clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
  • Article 26: You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.

The Wrong Trainers: Chris’s Story

The Wrong Trainers: Dillon’s Story 

The Wrong Trainers: Chantell and Keona’s Story

The Wrong Trainers: Samara’s Story

The Wrong Trainers: Danielle’s Story

Foreign Language

Haiti Tablo A (English subtitles) Second Level

Themes: Natural Disaster/Education/Play/Separation from family/Refugee camps

  • Article 9: You have the right to live with your parent(s), unless it is bad for you. You have the right to live with a family who cares for you.
  • Article 18: You have the right to be raised by your parent(s) if possible.
  • Article 20: You have the right to special care and help if you cannot live with your parents.
  • Article 22: You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention.
  • Article 28: You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.
  • Article 31: You have the right to play and rest.

“The Blackboard is a short movie made by internally displaced kids in Haiti, commissioned as a workshop by Intermon Oxfam. A team of three animators visited the school Coraille-Cesselesse at the ID camp of Onaville (near Port-au-Prince) to do a 10 days workshop with the students. “The Blackboard” tells the story of Adline, who likes to play soccer but can only play with a coke bottle because she doesn’t own a ball. While we were working with the children, film director J.A. Bayona shot a documentary about the animation process and the situation in Haiti 5 years after the earthquake. We made the movie to have the children learn new skills, but also to remember the world that international cooperation is not a matter of a couple of years, and that our effort must be sustained in time.”

Down The Stream- The Story of Invisible Vietnamese Boat Children‘ (English subtitles) Second Level

Themes: Right to an identity/Right to Education/Women’s rights/Rights of minority groups/Domestic violence

  • Article 7: You have the right to a name, and this should be officially recognised by the government. You have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country).
  • Article 8: You have the right to an identity – an official record of who you are. No one should take this away from you.
  • Article 11: You have the right to be protected from kidnapping.
  • Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
  • Article 24: You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a
    clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
  • Article 26: You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.
  • Article 28: You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.

“Life on the river with a group of young Vietnamese boat children describing their lives, their hopes and their fears. As they are not born on land, they cannot obtain a birth certificate, which means they cannot go to school. Invisible children who are so full of life, with a story tinged with tragedy.”

Sea Gypsies ‘ (English subtitles)– Second Level and Third Level

Themes: Poverty/Effects of tourism/Homelessness/Child mortality

  • Article 6: You have the right to be alive.
  • Article 24: You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a
    clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
  • Article 26: You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.
  • Article 27: You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.

“Sea Gypsies is a short film from Why Poverty? about struggling to survive in an idyllic island which has become a tourist destination. Indanina and her family live in on a beautiful coral island of Eastern Malaysia. When heavy fishing restrictions are imposed on their gypsy way of life, they are forced from their family homes and into a life of poverty. While they live under a motorway bridge and beg for handouts, their home is demolished to make room for a tourist diving resort.”

Love and Rubbish (English subtitles)- Second and Third Level

Themes: Homelessness/Poverty/Hunger/Education/Hope

  • Article 24: You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a
    clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
  • Article 26: You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.
  • Article 27: You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met.
    You should not be disadvantaged so that you can’t do many of the things other kids can do.
  • Article 28: You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.

“An estimated five million people are homeless in Russia, and one million of them are children. Love and Rubbish takes an unflinching yet poignant look at the lives of a group of children living in a garbage dump outside of Moscow, showing the hardships they face and the dreams they hold on to. This film was part of Why Poverty?, a groundbreaking cross-media event taking place in November 2012, which urged people around the world to ask this question with the aim to jump-start national and global debates about poverty in the 21st century.”

Disability

The Present‘ First and Second Level

Themes: Disability/Limb Difference/Bullying/Inclusion/Right to Life

  • Article 6: You have the right to be alive.
  • Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
  • Article 23: You have the right to special education and care if you have a disability, as well as all the
    rights in this Convention, so that you can live a full life.

“Jake spends most of his time inside playing video games on his own. One day his Mum surprises him with a present that will change his view of the world – and himself. This award winning short film is a moving celebration of acceptance and inclusion that is suitable for all ages.”