European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao

#TheRealChallenge: empowering millions of children to speak up for their rights

Brussels, 19/11/2019 - 18:45, UNIQUE ID: 191119_14
Press releases

Millions of young people have spread the message of children’s rights in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - thanks to a joint campaign by the European Union and UNICEF.

#TheRealChallenge campaign was launched last month on the social media platform TikTok with the help of TikTok influencers. Since then it has garnered more than 280 million views, 19.8 million likes and 1.2 million shares, reaching an audience in 41 countries so far.

Children and young people shared and engaged with short videos that highlighted the everyday effects of the UN Convention and showed how children’s rights are still being violated regularly in all parts of the world.

#TheRealChallenge is the campaign on children by children. Children are the real actors behind this campaign, expressing their rights in their own language in the place where they debate and meet virtually.

The 15-second videos focus on four important themes and issues affecting the lives of children. They cover:

  • Family Unity - Highlighting the issue of children being taken from their homes against their will/best interests
  • Bullying  - Showcasing that millions of children suffer from bullying every day
  • Equality - Focusing on the difference in opportunities between girls and boys
  • Child Labour - Pointing out that millions of children are forced to work instead of having a childhood.

TikTok, one of the most popular social-media app among young people, encourages users to re-create the original video and duet with the songs. So far, young people have created over 51,000 pieces of content linked with the EU-UNICEF campaign and hashtag.

While #TheRealChallenge celebrates the achievements of the UN Convention, which remains the most widely ratified human rights treaty, it also highlights areas where its provisions could be better enforced.

"We have a responsibility together to make sure that every single child has the sense of belonging to their own community, a role to play. This empowerment is vital", the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said at the last United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2019.

The work of the European Union and UNICEF does not stop with #TheRealChallenge.

While for 30 years, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has helped improve lives of many children, the challenges still remain. The European Union and UNICEF will continue to jointly protect and promote children's rights everywhere in the world – so that no child is left behind.