Multilateral Relations

Video project “My Rights, My Voice”: Giving children the opportunity to express their own view on their rights

18/11/2021 - 10:00
News stories

The EU Delegation to the Council of Europe and the Permanent Representations of Andorra and San Marino, had the pleasure to finally announce the winners of their joint video contest “My rights, my voice”. On 10th November 2021, in the context of the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (18 November) and the World Day on the Rights of the Child (20 November), the five winning videos on the rights of the child were screened at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg.

In April 2021, the EU Delegation in Strasbourg and the Permanent Representations of Andorra and San Marino at the Council of Europe launched a call for artistic video projects from children and young people aged 10 to 17, reflecting children’s understanding of their own rights. The project was addressed to children from any EU Member State, Andorra and San Marino.

The aim of our campaign is to enhance public communication and raise awareness on the European Union’s cooperation with the Council of Europe in respect of children’s fundamental rights, after the adoption of the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child on 24 March this year (2021-2024). The European Union and the Council of Europe indeed have a long-standing tradition of striving to protect the human rights of all persons, including children. On its side, the Council of Europe will soon adopt its own revised Strategy for the Rights of the Child.

Children’s rights have recently come under the spotlight also as a consequence of the exceptional circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed all across Europe and beyond. From health to education, every European child has been affected by the crisis.

With around 100 video projects received from children and schools across Europe, the cultural initiative proved to be a real success. The videos feature themes as diverse as the right to education and healthcare, protection from violence, respect for privacy, right to live in a healthy environment or inclusion of children with disabilities.

 “I wanna fight for children’s rights”

“You and I are not the same, but you and I are equal”

“Safety is one of the most important things a child should have” 

These are only some examples of the powerful messages the participants delivered through their video projects.

After thoroughly assessing the creativity, the consistency of the storyline and the message put forward in each video, the jury decided on one winner for each of the age categories of the contest. In the age category 10-12, the jury selected as winning video the project “Fight for children’s rights” submitted by the pupils of Osnovna škola, Ljudevita Modeca Križevci, Croatia. The participants had put considerable efforts in their musical and acting performance and addressed the fight for the rights of the child as a global topic. In the age category 13-14, the video “All equal, all the same” created by the children of Evryviadeio Gymnasium Larnaca, Cyprus, was selected. The project tells a sensitive story from the point of view of a child with disabilities about inclusion in a school community. In the age category 15-17 the jury exceptionally decided to have 2 ex aequo winners: Nora Magaš’ (School of Applied Arts, Rijeka, Croatia) animated video “The red means I love you” on child safety on the internet and Forner Rovira Mae’s (Andorra) video “Tout enfant a le droit d’être secouru” on child poverty. Finally, in a separate category of projects submitted by participants of mixed ages, the awarded video was the project "You & I" by the pupils of Apostolos Loukas Special School, Cyprus. The children had shown in a very personal way that children with disabilities should be able to participate equally in all areas of life.

The Jury was composed of the Ambassadors of the EU Delegation, Andorra and San Marino, Regina Jensdottir, Head of the Children's Rights Division and Council of Europe Coordinator for the Rights of the Child, Sergio Garcia de Leaniz, Eurimages Project Manager, and two children of the European School of Strasbourg, Charles and Emilia.

At the screening event, held in the opening of an event of the Hungarian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, several ambassadors, diplomatic staff and jury members took part. In her opening speech, the Ambassador to the EU Delegation to the Council of Europe, Ms Meglena KUNEVA, stressed that “the Europe of today and tomorrow cannot be built without its youngest citizens fully enjoying their rights. Children in Europe should be given meaningful opportunities to express themselves, sound the alarm on issues that concern them in the first place and be sensibly listened to.” The audience was impressed by the variety of the video projects and touched by the sensitive messages delivered by the children.

In addition, a broader selection of around 20 exceptional video submissions are currently being featured on our social media channels, in the context of the World Day on the Rights of the Child on 20 November.

The EU Delegation welcomed the fruitful cooperation on this cultural diplomacy project with the Permanent Representations of Andorra and San Marino to the Council of Europe, the Hungarian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, the Children’s Rights Division and Eurimages of Council of Europe, as well as the European School in Strasbourg. Hopefully, the resulting video projects will continue to inspire the younger generation and remind the older viewers of the children’s own perspective on their rights.