The World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) is an annual education and empowerment process for the rights of the child, democracy, the environment, and global friendship. The WCPRC was founded by Swedish organisation Children's World, but it is open to all schools and organisations all over the world. Based on the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, the WCPRC is designed to strengthen the voices of children and young people, promote their humanitarian growth as global citizens, and support them in their quest to demand respect for the rights of the child.

Communication Strategies: 

This initiative revolves around the participation of children as beings who deserve to have their rights respected and their perspectives valued. Sometimes adults organise a Global Vote for children, but often the young people organise it themselves; that way, they also learn how democratic elections work. Any school or children's group in the world can organise a Global Vote; the only condition is that they register as a Global Friend. This means that every year the organisation can work with the WCPRC process for the rights of the child and democracy. Registrants receive a Global Friend diploma and a free mailing of prize magazines and information about the WCPRC.

 

The WCPRC awards two main prizes and an honourary award. Any person or organisation that has carried out admirable work for the rights of the child can be nominated. One of the two prizes, the World's Children's Prize, is awarded by an international child jury. The children of the jury are experts on the rights of the child, through their own life experience. The jury includes children who have been soldiers, slaves, refugees, street children, prostitutes, or who have had their rights violated in other ways. The jury children are ambassadors for the WCPRC in their contact with journalists and others in their home countries - drawing attention to the importance of children's rights and the impact of violations of these rights locally, nationally, and globally.

 

Children at Global Friend schools and groups come face to face with the prize candidates, the children whose rights they fight for, the jury children, and the rights of the child through the Globe printed magazine and/or the WCPRC website (both available in 11 languages). Specifically, the resources on the WCPRC site include a teacher's guide, classroom activities, and many other ways of accessing and communicating information about children's rights. For instance, teachers can find details about dividing the class into teams of reporters and leading them on simulated journeys to the countries from which the nominees hail. The teacher takes on the role of Editor-in-Chief of the Global Friend News Agency, which means that he or she commissions reporters, manages their travel preparations, guides the groups through their tasks, and helps the students produce the final material. The aim of this activity is for the students to learn as much as possible about that year's nominees and about the rights of the child, in what is intended to be a fun-filled and lively way.

 

In April every year, the jury children gather for 15 days in Sweden. They decide who is to receive the WCPRC, and they visit Swedish schools. All three prize candidates receive money for their work for the rights of the child. The organisers comment on this strategy as follows: "The prize is the 'perpetual motion machine' of the program and what makes it all possible. It generates enthusiastic participation by the informal owners of the program, the children, as well as by teachers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), departments of education and media projects. The prize is also the key to the media's big interest."

Development Issues: 

Children, Rights.

Key Points: 

6.6 million children took part in the World's Children's Prize Global Vote 2008.

 

According to Children's World, WCPRC "helps countries fulfil their commitments under Article 42 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. States that have ratified the Convention have committed to taking appropriate and active measures to make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known among adults and children alike." They also believe that the process gives children increased knowledge of democracy, contributes to children's humanitarian growth into global citizens, empowers children with knowledge and courage, and - through the prize sum - gives children the opportunity to help some of the most economically poor and vulnerable children in the world.

Partner Text: 

WCPRC is implemented in cooperation with 500 local NGOs, departments of education, and media projects - and through the involvement of up to 50,000 teachers. The patrons of the WCPRC include Nelson Mandela, Queen Silvia, Nobel Prize Laureates José Ramos Horta and Joseph Stiglitz, former UN Under-Secretary General Olara Otunnu, and former Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Carol Bellamy.

 

The Swedish government's international development agency, Sida, is the primary source of funding. Others include Save the Children Sweden, Swedish Postcode Lottery, Surve Family Foundation, and AstraZeneca. The WCPRC also receives support from Altor, Radiohjälpen, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Crown Princess Margareta Memorial Foundation, the Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation, Banco Fonder, Interroute, and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

Source: 

Emails from Magnus Bergmar to The Communication Initiative on January 14 2009 and March 27 2009; and WCPRC website.