World Children’s Prize – Moçambique

The World Children’s Prize (WCP) engages children and increases their knowledge of human rights and democracy. Together we become a force for tolerance, equality and positive diversity and against abusive treatment, prejudice and racism. The annual program concludes with the participating children conducting their democratic world referendum in which they nominate the child rights hero of the year. WCP is protected by, among others, Queen Silvia, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, the late Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Graça Macel and Desmond Tutu.

Through its support, H.M. Queen Silvia’s Foundation CATCH enables the project “Mozambique for girls’ rights”, in which both children and adults are involved. 

The project calls on children, families, teachers and school leaders, local, traditional and religious leaders, local and national authorities and ministries, politicians and the media to commit to a Mozambique free from violations of girls’ equal rights 

World Children’s Prize (WCP) children’s rights ambassadors lead the way. They are girls and boys who have been given the knowledge, capacity and strength to demand respect for the rights of the child. The ambassadors form children’s rights clubs and educate others about the rights of the child, especially girls. 

In the past, girls trained by WCP as child rights ambassadors in Mozambique have exposed and fought against systematic sexual abuse of girls in several of the country’s schools. These schools are today abuse-free. The children’s rights ambassadors are inspiring examples of how children can bring about change when they gain knowledge, courage and strengthened self-esteem. 

Here we hear the voices from some of the children in the pictures. 

“I was forced to get married when I was twelve, even though I was a child. When I then became pregnant, I also had to leave school. It hurts so much. I loved school and my dream is to one day become a really good teacher”, Mercia, 14 years old 

“We are girls and we have all our menstrual periods. But it’s like we’re ashamed. There are many things that need to change for the better, but we must also change ourselves! They can improve every toilet in Mozambique, but without us girls there will be no change. We need to stand up for ourselves!”, Eliza (WCP Children’s Rights Ambassador), here with her friends at the Secunaria de Massaca school 

“The girls do all the work at home. We boys do nothing, but I cook, clean and wash, just like my sisters. Then they get more time for their homework and free time. As a boy, you are ashamed of how teachers buy sex from girls in exchange for grades and other things. It is child sexual trafficking and completely wrong. For the better, we young boys need to learn about girls’ rights”, Arnaldo, 13, WCP Children’s Rights Ambassador, Boane 

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