NEW YORK, USA, 20 November 2009 – A young girl in India longs to be in school. She watches through the window and the gracious teacher calls her in. But when she sits down, the boys shift over to one side to be away from her.
This is the premise of ‘The Classroom’, the winner of the UNICEF youth video contest marking the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
As the one-minute video progresses, more and more girls join the first girl’s side, until the classroom is full of both boy and girl students doing their lessons.
Created by Sonu Thakur, 15, of West Bengal, India, the video is a simple yet beautiful way of illustrating Article 28 of the CRC, which states that every child has the right to an education. It also illustrates one of UNICEF’s top priorities – getting more girls in school.
The video contest, which drew over 135 videos from around the world, asked young filmmakers to produce one-minute videos expressing what child rights mean to them. Judges selected 12 finalists, representing India, Colombia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Romania.
The finalists were judged by a panel of youth video makers and activists, and adult media professionals.
Youth video workshops
Besides organizing the contest in connection with the 20th anniversary of the CRC, UNICEF ran ‘OneminutesJr’ workshops in 11 countries under the child-rights theme.
Operated in partnership with the One Minutes Foundation and the European Cultural Foundation, the ‘OneminutesJr’ project organizes five-day film workshops in which each participant learns camera skills, story development and production techniques.
The CRC-related workshops resulted in the production of video by young people in Senegal, Bangladesh, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Niger, Ukraine, Barbados, Dominica, British Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Antigua, Guyana, Moldova, Mongolia and Viet Nam.
The videos from these workshops are currently featured on the CRC 20th anniversary website.