A picture is worth a thousand words. But imagine children expressing what they know about child rights through pictures. Ever wondered what it would look like through their eyes?
The participants of The World We Want children’s photography workshop – consisting of kids aged between 13 and 17 from NGOs around Malaysia and three winners of the Picture My Rights contest – were out and about in Kuala Lumpur last week snapping inspiring pictures as part of the five-day workshop.
This Unicef Malaysia initiative also included photography workshops conducted by world-renowned humanitarian photographer, Giacomo Pirozzi, who has worked in 130 countries for Unicef and conducted a mind-boggling 38 workshops in 35 countries over the past 25 years.
According to Pirozzi, it is important to educate children about their rights because they are victims of all sorts of abuse.
Hence, by exposing these children through photography, they become more aware of their rights and understand that they are valid citizens of today.
James Duncan Tupling, 15, one of the winners of Picture My Rights (a photography contest run by Unicef Malaysia, in partnership with our young journalists’ programme, BRATs) was there and he said that photography is one of the most effective ways to educate children about their rights because pictures truly capture what’s going on.
“In a sense, it also gives people hope, like it doesn’t take much to change people’s lives especially in countries where children don’t even have clean water,” said Tupling.
Another Picture My Rights winner, Loh Rachel, 17, revealed that the participants – who are from all walks of life – shared their problems with each other, which in turn, broadened her knowledge about children’s rights.
She added: “For our field work, Giacomo told us to decide where to go to photograph children’s rights. We went to an indigenous village to highlight poverty, and we managed to capture their lives and situations in our photographs.”
Unicef representative to Malaysia, Wivina Belmonte said it’s good to know about child rights, but the more important thing is to put it into practice.
“One of the basic child rights is the right to participation and I mean, authentic participation where no adults are telling the kids what to do.
Here, kids are given a platform to interpret the world on their own because we would like to see the world through their eyes,” said Belmonte.
Pictures often say more than words, so check out this photographic trail depicting the kids’ journeys throughout the workshop.