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Overview

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Cartoons for Children's Rights is a UNICEF broadcast initiative that aims to inform people around the world about child rights. So far, the effort has forged partnerships with nearly 70 animation studios in 32 countries that have developed 30-second non-verbal public service announcements (PSAs).

UNICEF distributes the PSAs to broadcasters for the cost of the tape. The spots have aired on more than 2,000 television stations globally. Some have won prestigious awards. We hope you will join this important initiative!

What are children's rights?

In 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This landmark treaty, now ratified by all but two countries on earth, spells out the rights of all children to health, to education, to an adequate standard of living, to leisure and play, to protection from exploitation, to express their own opinions and many more. All children have these rights.

But how can people make sure their rights are fulfilled if they don't know what they are? Cartoons for Children's Rights can help them find out. With its captivating images and cross-cultural appeal, animation is the perfect tool for informing children about their rights and society about its obligations, all over the world. Through Cartoons for Children's Rights, broadcasters can use their influence to help make the Convention on the Rights of the Child relevant and important to the life of every child.

So far...
Tape 1 of Cartoons for Children's Rights, containing 29 spots, was distributed in 1998. These cartoons have been shown by more than 2,000 broadcasters in 160 countries to an estimated viewing audience of more than one billion people!

What's new...
Tape 2, with an additional 37 spots, has just been released. It includes contributions from another 25 countries, covering the globe from Argentina to Armenia. Dozens of new characters have been created specially for the series. Hundreds of artists have participated, developing more than 45,000 drawings - representing a total of more than $3 million worth of donated time and talent!

In the beginning...
UNICEF, the only UN organization dedicated exclusively to help protect the lives and rights of children, invited animators to a summit meeting on Animation for Development in 1994. The purpose of the summit, attended by heads of major animation studios, as well as 150 participants from 45 countries, was to demonstrate how animation could be used to support child rights and other aspects of international development. Cartoons for Children's Rights evolved from that meeting, the brainchild of C.J. Kettler, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sunbow Entertainment.

The initiative entered a new phase when it was supported by a grant from the Cartoon Network, which has allowed spots to be commissioned from more than 10 countries. Support has also been given by the Government of Denmark, Christie's auction house and the School of Visual Arts in New York, which has helped to train animators from a variety of countries.

The International Children's Day of Broadcasting
Cartoons for Children's Rights builds on the success of the International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), a unique partnership between broadcasters and UNICEF initiated several years ago. Held each December, the Day allows broadcasters to exploit the power of television and radio to raise awareness of children's issues. Most importantly, the Day gives children a voice on the airwaves. On the 1998 International Children's Day of Broadcasting, some 2,000 stations in 170 countries aired special child-focused programming - in many cases created by children themselves. We hope to expand the success of ICDB through Cartoons for Children's Rights.

Children's rights. Know them. Demand them. Defend them.

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