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close this bookOutreach No. 96 - Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances - Part 1: Working and Street Children (New York University - TVE - UNEP - WWF, 68 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOUTREACH information packs
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentLocation map
View the documentHow to use OUTREACH packs
View the documentOUTREACH packs on Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances
View the documentHow to use OUTREACH pack no. 96
View the documentArticle: Street children
View the documentFacts and opinions: Street children: the numbers
View the documentEducational resources: In the shadow of the city
View the documentClass activity: Who is a street child?
View the documentQuestions and answers: Where do street children come from?
View the documentClass activities: Urban and rural life
View the documentArticle: Child labour
View the documentClass activity: The causes of child labour exploitation in poor countries
View the documentArticles, interviews and activities: Lives of children in especially difficult circumstances: Part 1: street children and child labourers
View the documentArticle and activities: Street educators
View the documentArticle: Informal education for Nairobi's street children
View the documentEducational resources: A comic about street children
View the documentQuestions and answers: Questions children ask about sexual exploitation
View the documentPractical guidelines: Practical advice for AIDS educators working with street children
View the documentArticle: Helping street children
View the documentArticle: A self-help project for street children in India
View the documentActivities: Child-to-Child activities for children who live and work on the streets
View the documentArticle and activities: Convention on the Rights of the Child
View the documentArticle: Empowering children
View the documentEducational resources: African jigsaw
View the documentArticle: The children's movement in Brazil
View the documentSuggestions for action: How city mayors can help
View the documentRadio spots: Life is harder in the city
View the documentVideo resource: The Karate Kids project
View the documentPublications: Innocenti Studies: the urban child in difficult circumstances
View the documentFilm, video and radio resources: Children in difficult circumstances: street and working children
View the documentOrganisations: The Consortium for street children
View the documentOrganisations: CHILDHOPE

Film, video and radio resources: Children in difficult circumstances: street and working children


The following films and videos are available to TV stations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other educational organisations in Low and Middle Income Countries through the MOVING PICTURES service of the Television Trust for the Environment. For further information contact: TVE Distribution and Training Centre, Postbus 7, 3700 AA Zeist, The Netherlands Tel: (31) 3404 20499 Fax: (31) 3404 22484

* indicates certain restrictions

Length: 60' (education video 30')
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Production Co: Central
Producer/Director: Julian Ware/Bruce Sorrentino

This film looks at the prospects of eleven babies born within a year of the UN Earth Summit in June 1992: eleven healthy babies, born with equal abilities - but in very unequal parts of the world. One baby, Panjarvanam in India, faces a bleak future working as a child labourer in a firework industry.

Length: 75'
Language: Indonesian with English subtitles
Production Co: Johns Hopkins University
Producer/Director: Slamet Rahardjo Djarot

This film, a mix of fact and fiction, is about the life and hopes of Basra, a 12-year old from the slums and streets of Jakarta, Indonesia

Length: 75'
Language: Indonesian (with English subtitles)
Production Co: Johns Hopkins University
Producer/Director: Arifin C. Noer

Set among the rice fields of a coastal community in West Java and the overcrowded slums of Jakarta. TASI OH TASI! is a story of despair and hope. Tasi comes from a family with too many children and a spendthrift father who works as a fisherman and farmer. When the catch dwindles due to overfishing and rats devastate the rice harvest, her feckless father resorts to marrying Tasi off at an early age to repay his debts. Disgusted by her new husband, Tasi runs away to Jakarta and becomes a prostitute in order to survive. Through a montage of interviews and flashbacks, Tasi reflects upon her tragic life and questions what sort of a future there will be for her son. Arifin Noer's compelling film is a vivid portrait of Indonesian village life, illustrating how the problems of an expanding population and worsening environmental conditions directly affect the lives of children.

Language: English, French, Spanish
Production Co: TVE
Exec. Producer: Bruno Sorrentino
Producer: Ian Potts
Directors: Ian Potts and Michael Keating

Formed to examine humanitarian issues and to bring them the same level of expertise and experience as is normally reserved for economic, political and security problems, the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (ICHIH) has issued a series of in-depth reports that analyse problems and propose actions to achieve solutions. This series of six films illustrates the issues raised in the reports:

Vanishing Forests, Bitter Harvests, Street Children, Disappeared, Indigenous Peoples and Refugees. The film on Street Children shows that if we fail to act, the swell of violence and social evils which threaten our societies can only increase.

In 1992 TVE produced three further films to add to the series. The first 30' film looks at modern warfare where the majority of victims are civilians. The second looks at disasters, and the way in which they are affected by poverty and inequality. The 40' minute overview film discusses how the major geopolitical issues of today can be refocused to become more people-centred.

Length: 30'
Language: English
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Donor Agency: UNICEF
Production Co: Moving Times
Distributors: TVE and UNICEF

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child gives children the right to freedom of thought and expression. This compelling UNICEF documentary shows how children are working successfully to make their voices heard. In Brazil, for example, a street children's organisation helps children's rights to become law.

Series 1
Length: 50'
Language: Portuguese with English, French and Spanish subtitles
Production Co: Octavio Bezerra Prod. Cinematograficas/BBC
Producer/Director: Octavio Bezerra

This powerful and disturbing drama-documentary examines the tortuous links between Brazil's huge external debt, the devastation of the Amazon rainforest and the killing of street children in Rio de Janeiro.

Video tape Length: 60'
Language: Nepali (with English subtitles)
Distributors: TVE and UNICEF

This film is a dramatisation of the story of 10-year old Ujeli, a Nepalese girl. Against the advice of teacher and a doctor - who warns about the dangers of early childbearing - Ujeli's parents arrange for her to get married. Excluded from school and forced to labour very long hours, Ujeli takes on the responsibility of an adult woman, including motherhood. This tragic tale emerges from a country where it is estimated that 40 per cent of all women are married before the age of 14. Nepal's maternal mortality rate of 850 per 100,000 live births is considered amongst the highest in the world.

Length 4 × 20'
Language: English
Production Co: North-South Productions, Bos Bros., AVRO, AVALON-NFU Studios (NZ)
Producers/Directors: Michael Scott-Smith, Richard Keefe, Rob Mooy, Burney Bos, Loes Wormmeester,
Distributor to Developing countries: TVE

Ragpickers is the story of Laxmi and Manjunath, a sister and a brother who flee their village in Bangalore. But as soon as they arrive in the bustling city, they get caught up in the cycle of poverty, exploitation and violence of most street children. They are lucky enough to move into a group home run by a benevolent woman who encourages the children to start up a business collecting the neighbourhood rubbish. Laxmi defends herself and the business against small-minded prejudice and helps to eradicate a corrupt police ring victimising the street children.

This is the third of four dramas in Earth Tales, a series for 11-16-year-olds which look at global problems which young people today worry about. Each programme is set in a different region, providing a unique insight into the cultural and economic factors that help shape the way the characters view environment and development issues. The other tales are from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Holland.


The following film, video and radio resources are available from UNICEF. Video tapes are available for duplication on to any video standard or format. Films are distributed in 16 mm only. Radio programmes may be ordered on cassette or on individual reels. Non-governmental organisations, broadcast and cable stations and other institutions may order these resources from: UNICEF Headquarters, Division of Information, Chief Radio/TV/Film Section, UNICEF House, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 USA Tel: (+1) 212 326-7290 Fax: (+1) 212 326-7731

Film and video tape
Length: 27'
Language: English. French, Spanish, Portuguese
Co-produced with Global TV, Toronto, Canada

This film explores the growing problem of 'street' or abandoned children - a problem which is not restricted to Brazil but exists worldwide. It examines the causes and the resulting social and economic impact on the local community and society. Emphasis is given to alternative community-based approaches that cultivate in these children a sense of dignity and pride in their ability to stand on their own feet.

Video tape
Length: 10 minutes
Language: English
A UNICEF/BBC Co-production

In Sudan, famine combined with civil war and political instability displace hundreds of thousands of people and force them towards the capital, Khartoum. Among those who suffer most are children. Driven from their homes and villages, these children, who call themselves Tarazani - little Tarzans - a re forced to turn to life in the streets where they can fall victim to drugs. Sunday Tuc, a 14-year old Tarazani, seeks to escape the dangers of street life by joining a UNICEF-assisted courier service.

Length: 50 minutes
Language: English
Production Companies: UNICEF/BBC

Case studies in four countries dramatically illustrate the need for governments to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This programme examines the problems of street children in Brazil, child labour in Bangladesh, children at war in Mozambique and teenage mothers in the United States.

Videotape Length: 2' 36”
International soundtrack
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Production Co: UNICEF

A new legal instrument, binding all nations, was presented to the 1989 session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is part of a drive to give greater protection to children's rights - the right to survival, development and freedom from exploitation.

Video tape
Length: 14'
Language: Spanish

A view of life in the streets of Nicaragua where teenagers sleep in abandoned buildings, sniff glue and earn money through prostitution.

The story is told through the daily lives of two young street girls.

Cassettes, 1989
Length: 6 × 15'
Language: English
A UNICEF/BBC Co-production

These programmes examine the lives of children whose human rights are systematically violated. Each programme features a specific situation - ranging from the right to basic hearth care to the right to protection from armed conflicts. They reveal the need for greater legal protection, which will be provided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These programmes were recorded in India, Mexico, Mozambique, the Philippines and the United States, and are accompanied by a listener's discussion guide.


Length: 6 × 30'
Production Co: North-South Productions
Series Producer: Richard Keefe
Distributor: Video Arts Television
60-62 Margaret Street,
London W1N 7FJ, UK
Tel: (44) 71 636 9421
Fax: (4) 71 436 7426

On November 20, 1989, the United Nations General Assembly finally adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child - a historic milestone in the fight for the safety, health and happiness of children around the world. The six individual films in this landmark series look at children from seven different regions of the world to illustrate how children are at risk - from abuse in the home, exploitation as cheap labour and from poverty, violence and hunger - and to illustrate just what is meant by the Rights of the Child.

Length: 56'
Language: English subtitles
Producers: Marie-France Delobel, Jaques Grandclaude
Directors: Jerry Lewis, Lino Brocka, Rolan Bykov, Euzhan Palcy, Ciro Duran, Jean Luc Godard, Anne Marie Mieville
Production CO: C9i Communication
Distributor: C9i Communication
52 Rue Luther, 1040
Bruxelles, Belgium
Tel: (32) 2 734 9600
Fax: (32) 2 735 6025

A collection of six short drama by top international directors, each made to illustrate one of the individual rights all children are entitled to. For example, in OCA, director Lino Brocka encapsulates his outrage and despair at the way children in the Philippines are exploited and discarded - forced to work in defiance of one of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Length: 25'
Language: English
Production Co: Granada
Producer: Don Jordan
Distributor: Granada LWT International
The London Television Centre, Upper Ground London SE1 9LT, UK
Tel: (44) 71 620 1620
Fax: (44) 71 928 8476

Death squads are the main contributors to the high murder rate in Rio de Janeiro. In areas patronised by wealthy tourists, vigilantes and members of the police are paid by wealthy businessmen to 'clear out' the streets of thieves and racketeers, many of them street children. The police have launched a crackdown on such corruption, but this film shows that the root causes of the problem lie in the massive inequalities in income and status throughout Brazil.

Language: English Length: 49'
Production Co: Alma Associates
Producer: Giancarla Forte
Director: Judy Jackson
Distributor: BBC Enterprises, Woodlands, 80 Wood Lane, London W12 0TT UK
Tel: (44) 81 576 2415
Fax: (44) 81 576 2867

This film, set in Guatemala, is a harrowing account of the emotional and physical damage done to children who have been abandoned and live in the streets or who have seen their families killed. Judy Jackson links the plight of the street children to the wider political and economic problems in Guatemala and, through exposing their bleak future, asks whether international aid only extends the children's suffering by keeping them on the brink of death.

(The Children's War)
Length: 50'
Language: Portuguese (with English subtitles)
Production Co: Synapse Communications
Producer: Clara Moraes
Director: Sandra Werneck
Distributor: The Cinema Guild, 1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, USA Tel: (+1) 212 246 5522 Fax: (+1) 212 246 5525

This film describes the infamous death squads in Brazil's major cities that exterminate street children because they are seen as litter in the plazas, and a threat to tourism.

Length: 30' Language: English Production Co: Perigrine Productions
Producer: Charlotte K. Beyers
Director: Harry Mathias
Distributor: The Cinema Guild 1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019 USA Tel: (+1) 212 246 5522

North Americans frequently discuss children living on the streets as delinquents. But this film shows that street children in San Francisco and many other American cities leave home only after years of neglect and/or sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Interviews with street children reveal that each day is devoted to finding food and shelter. They 'dumpster dive', looking for food in rubbish dumps. Many kids beg, but they say people pass them by, assuming the money will be spent on drugs. Because police patrol the public parks, the children sleep in churches, hedgerows and abandoned buildings. Dreams of securing a legitimate job at a fast food restaurant are often shattered when an employer finds out the child employee is underage. Many are forced into prostitution to survive. They become vulnerable to drugs, violence and disease. A shocking number of parents do not want their children back.

Video tape
Length: 3'27”
Language: Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish
Programme no. 294
Distribution: The video may be borrowed from your local UNIC or United Nations Development Programme (UN DP) Office or it may be purchased for US$50.00 from the A/V Promotion and Distribution Unit, UNDPI, Room S-805A, United Nations, New York, NY 10017 USA

This segment on UNICEF assistance is part of a series of UN In Action videos the UN Department of Information (UNDPI) has produced.

Length: 6 × 15'
Language: Arabic, English, French, German.
Production Co: TransTel
Directors: Michael Albus, Michael Pommerening, Brend Mosblech, Wolfgang Woywod, Heide Nullmeyer
Distributor: TransTel
Distribution, PO Box 101 707, D-5000. Cologne 1, Germany
Tel: (49 221) 389 2726
Fax: (49 221) 389 2766

Fifteen-year-old Nasri lives on the northern outskirts of Bombay where, until recently, thousands of displaced people from other parts of India lived in squalor. Her neighbourhood now has shops, schools, street lighting and a health centre - but many mothers are reluctant to bring their children to a doctor. To combat childhood illnesses and preventable diseases such as anaemia, Nasri and some of her friends have been trained as mini-doctors. They visit homes on a regular basis, examine children, and educate mothers about immunisation and nutrition. Mini-Doctors reveals that the children who participate in this unique community project not only provide an invaluable service - but many go on to become qualified doctors themselves.

Mini-Doctors is just one of the programmes in the series In Spite Of All which features reports for children on children who persevere In the face of extreme hardships and trials in their everyday lives. Another of the programmes, Light at the End of the Road looks at two settlements in Colombia for former street kids. The projects, initiated by Padre Javier de Nicolo, allow the children to escape poverty, hunger and despair of life on the streets, and rebuild their lives by creating a community and learning skills which they can use for the future.

Produced by different film-makers, the series looks at disability, disease, pollution, poverty, cultural identity, racism and homelessness. Viewed individually, or as a series, the programmes in In Spite Of All give a rare, positive perspective on issues affecting children around the world.

Length: 30'
Language: English
Production Co: CAPA
Producer/Director: Hubert Dubois
Distributor: ILO, Audiovisual Unit, CH-1211, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: (41 22) 799 7949
Fax: (41 22) 788 3894

For four months each year in Egypt's Nile Valley, gangs of children are woken in the middle of the night and sent off in trucks to pick bales of jasmine flowers for KATO, an export company. To preserve their essence, the blossoms must be picked when it is still dark and humid: the children's tiny hands have the added advantage of not damaging the flowers. As director Hubert Dubois' shocking documentary shows, the jasmine pickers work a ten-hour shift, for low wages and without food or rest. If they slow down, the foremen hit them with sticks.

Under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to be protected from performing work likely to be hazardous, to interfere with education or to be physical, morally, socially or spiritually harmful. And yet the International Labour Office (ILO) estimates that 200 million children worldwide are forced to work every day. And because children are disenfranchised, they are often abused by their employers. Shackled Children is a grim film which investigateschild exploitation cases in India, Egypt, U.S.A. and Russia.