Films – Children

Born into Brothels
Directors: Ross Kauffman, Zana Briski
Academy Award winning documentary film about youth empowerment and the transformative power of art and education.  Accompanying Teaching Guide by Amnesty International.
Time: 85 minutes
Grade Level: middle – high school

Cartoons for Children’s Rights

Source: UNICEF
Imaginative and lively animations from around the world that illustrate the articles of the CRC.
Time: Various, all short
Grade Level: upper elementary – high school

The Devil’s Miner
Director/Producer: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani; Source: Cinema Delicatessen, 2005
Tells the story of 14-year-old Basilio who worships the devil for protection while working in a Bolivian silver mine to support his family. Includes accompanying study guide.
Time: 82 minutes
Grade Level: high school

Fingers to the Bone: Child Farmworkers in the USA
Producer: Human Rights Watch
Documents the dangers and abuse migrant children face as farmworkers.
Price: $31.96; also available on line
Time: 6 minutes

The Harvest/La Cosecha: The Story of the Children Who Feed America

Producer: Shine Global, 2011
The story of the children in the USA who work 12-14 hour days in the fields without the protection of child labor laws.  Includes Companion Curriculum for middle and high school students.
Time: 80 minutes

Human Rights Watch Videos on Child Marriage
Source: Human Rights Watch, 2013
Collection of brief videos from Malwai, South Sudan, and Yemen showing the cultural norms that permit child marriage and the results in the lives of girls.
Time: 5-10 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult

The Inheritors (Los Herederos)

Director: Eugenio Polgovsky; Source: Icarus Films, 2009
Documents the daily lives of Mexican children who, with their families, survive only by their unrelenting labor. Explores how the cycle of poverty is passed on, from one generation to another.
Time: 90 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult

Lost Futures: the Problem of Child Labor

Source: American Federation of Teachers
 An overview of the continuing use of children as workers in many parts of the world. Develops the concept of “oppressive child labor,” as opposed to acceptable child labor. Offers a brief history of child labor in the US. Covers activities by students and teachers themselves against exploitative child labor.  Includes a Teaching Guide with background information and resources.
Time: 16 minutes
Grade Level: middle – high school

Not My Life
Source: US Fund for UNICEF/Amazon Prime Video

Exposes a world where millions of children are exploited through practices including forced labor, domestic servitude, begging, sex tourism and child soldiering. Includes accompanying lesson plans.
Time: 32 minutes
Grade Level:  middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, current events

Stolen Childhoods

Director: Len Morris and U. Roberto Romano, 2005; Source: Media Voices for Children
Features stories of child laborers around the world, told in their own words. Places children’s stories in the broader context of the worldwide struggle against child labor. Provides an understanding of the causes of child labor, what it costs the global community, how it contributes to global insecurity and what it will take to eliminate it.
Time: 85 minutes
Grade Level:  middle – high school, adult
Subject Area: social studies, current events

Waiting for Superman
Director: Davis Gugenheim; Source: Independent Television Service
Documentary on problems in American public schools, the resistance of teacher’s unions to change, and the rise of charter schools, including the often-painful selection process at charter schools.
Price: About $14. Rent: About $3
Time: 102 minutes
Grade Level: high school – adult

“What’s Going On?”

Producer: Showtime and the United Nations; Source:  Zenger Media
Ten videos dealing with the rights of children (Child Labor in Brazil, Indigenous Children in Australia, Street Children in Mongolia, Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone, Refugees in Tanzania, and Girl’s Education in India, AIDS in the Caribbean, Poverty in America, Landmines in Cambodia, and Conflict in Northern Ireland). These videos address contemporary world problems that directly impact the daily lives of children.  Produced in collaboration with Showtime and the UN Works Programme, they were originally shown in 2003 but their relevance has not diminished.  Each video features a case study of a specific issue, with children in the case study society featured in film as key participants.
Time:   Each film averages 28 minutes in length
Grade Level: middle school – adult

Zoned for Slavery: The Child behind the Label

Source: ‪Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, 1995
This film has introduced tens of thousands of people to the harsh realities of the global economic system since it was released in 1995. Continues to be relevant today and continues to inspire action against corporate misconduct and sweatshop abuses. An accompanying teaching guide is available from Teaching for Change.
Time: 9:40 minutes
Grade Level: middle – high school, adult