ACTIVITY 22: WHAT DOES A CHILD NEED?
Overview: This activity stimulates thinking about the needs of children, links human rights to human needs, and increases familiarity with the articles of the UDHR and/or the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Time: 30-60 minutes.
Materials: Chart paper, markers, tape, copies of the UDHR and/or CRC.
1. Working in small groups, participants draw a large outline of a child. The group gives the child a name and then decides on the mental, physical, spiritual, and character qualities they would like this child to have as an adult (e.g., good health, sense of humor, kindness) and writes these qualities inside the outline of the child. They might also make symbols on or around the child to represent these ideal qualities (e.g., books to represent education).
2. Inside the outline the group lists the human and material resources the child will need to achieve these qualities (e.g., if the child is to be healthy, it will need food and health care).
3. Using the CRC and/or the UDHR, the group identifies the articles that guarantee a child each of these needs and writes the number of the article(s) next to that item on the list. Any needs that are not covered by the documents are circled.
4. Each group posts its child on the wall, "introduces" the new member of the community, and explains its choices. As a need is linked to a right, a member of the small group reads that article from a simplified version of the UDHR and/or CRC.
5. Discuss the features common to most posters:
What were the most common needs? Why?
Were some needs listed only once or twice? Should they also be considered important for all children?
Were any needs not covered by the convention? How can this omission be explained?
Source: Nancy Flowers, Human Rights Educators' Network, Amnesty International USA.