UNICEF children’s rights film festival

After learning in the classroom about children’s rights, students were asked to tell the camera about their favourite right. In the finale of the second edition of the UNICEF Children’s Rights Film Festival Caribbean 2020, all the films were presented.

“I chose the right to be protected, because children like me should be protected from bullies and violence,” shares 11-year-old Kylie. Kylie is one of the 11 Children on Sint Maarten who participated in the UNICEF Children’s Rights Film Festival Caribbean Finale in 2020. 

The project provided a creative platform for children to learn about their rights and get involved with teaching others about children’s rights. First, the participating students on Sint Maarten, ages 9 to 12, learned about children’s rights in a classroom setting. After a group discussion, they were asked to make a drawing depicting their favourite right. Once finished, one by one, they presented their drawings on camera and shared the thoughts behind their drawings. The result: a very cool video.

Online premiere with red carpet
Bringing attention to children’s rights is important: not every child on the islands knows what his or her rights are. Only when children know their rights will they be able to stand up for them.

Other Dutch Caribbean islands, Bonaire, Curaçao, Aruba, Saba, and St. Eustatius, participated as well, each making their own videos. On November 21st, the finale of the second edition of the UNICEF Children’s Rights Film Festival Caribbean 2020 took place. Bonaire was the host island. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was decided that the children from the other participating islands would not be physically present on Bonaire. As an alternative, a live online premiere was organized. The children and their parents were invited to a festive local finale at which they could easily view and participate in the live online premiere with the other islands. On Sint Maarten, they were treated to a red carpet event full of fun costumes, popcorn, and other surprises.

Best film and best drawing
As the virtual finale program continued, the suspense among the children watching intensified as they wondered who the winner, chosen by the jury, would be. At last, Nina den Heyer, a commissioner on Bonaire, made the announcement. The winner of the Best Children’s Rights film was the film from the Emmanuel School in Curaçao. The film touches upon the importance of family for children and especially how important it is for children to be in contact with both of their parents.

Sint Maarten also won an award. The award for the best children’s rights drawing went to Kylie, who depicted and argued her chosen right in a creative and personal way.

Picture 1: Kylie receiving her award for ‘the best children’s rights drawing’. The evening was hosted by Mareeka Dookie, the project manager, and popular radio host Kevin ‘Suppa Kid’ Patrona.

Picture 2: Kylie, age 11, chose the right to be protected because “children like me should be protected from bullies and violence.”

Picture 3: 12-year-old Carlos expressed his disappointment when people, especially adults around him, do not listen to him. Through his drawing and video, he encourages people to listen more to the opinions of children. Carlos based his drawing on children’s right #12: to have opinions and for these opinions to be heard and taken seriously.

Picture 4: 11-year-old Briana shared that she drew the right “for all children to be happy” based on children’s right #6: all children and young people have the right to survive and the right to develop. Her advice: If you know a child that is not happy, you can give them a compliment and be nice OR if they don’t have money, share with them what you have!”