For more than one year we accompanied students of a class with special language support at the Albert Gutzmann School in Berlin-Wedding during an exciting project on children’s rights and tobacco. They explored how and where children’s rights are infringed during the production and due to the consumption of tobacco. For example, they have been talking about child labour in tobacco growing and the health harms of smoking and secondhand smoke. They particularly discussed the rights to health, education and to protection from exploitation.

A video clip for the UN Committee

During several participatory workshops in school, the students designed posters and produced videoclips. They explained their views on tobacco and expressed their autonomously developed demands.

The clips have been cut into one video. Today, this video together with a letter from the students was sent to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. With this important contribution to the civil society’s reports the students send their message to politicians, media and the public.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Children’s rights are defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and, since 1992, it is in force in Germany. In April 2019, Germany has submitted its due state report to the UN Committee. Civil society is also invited to report to the committee. Last year, the German Institute for Human Rights submitted its parallel report and the National Coalition Germany presented its supplementary report as well as a children report.

The particular beauty of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is that children and adolescents can hand in their own reports. The students of the Albert Gutzmann School have seized this opportunity well.

Look into our galery where the children show the posters they designed against tobacco.

"I see people smoking almost everywhere."
"It just doesn't feel nice for a person who doesn't smoke."
"It doesn't smell nice, and I don't want to smell it anymore."
"My mother and my father are always smoking. I tell them they should stop, but they don't listen."
"I wish they wouldn't smoke so much."
"If I were the queen of Germany, I would take the tobacco away from them and then throw it away."
"If I were a politician, then I would ban the sale of cigarettes."
"If I was the chief politician, I would have thrown it all away, so that it couldn't be sold anymore. Because I don't think it's good. And it's not good for children."