Mother, filmmaker and Special Envoy for the UNHCR Angelina Jolie has teamed up with human rights organisation Amnesty International to create a new book, aimed at empowering children to speak out against injustice.
The resource, titled “Know Your Rights and Claim Them”, was written in collaboration with Professor Geraldine Van Bueren QC, one of the original drafters of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It explains exactly what child rights are and how children can better protect themselves when governments fail them.
“If governments kept their word, and if all adults respected children’s rights, there would be no need for this book,” Angelina says in a statement.
We’re excited to be collaborating with Angelina Jolie on a book for teenagers, with the vision for all young people to know and be able to claim their rights, no matter who they are or where they live.
‘Know Your Rights (And Claim Them)’ will be published in Sep. 2021. pic.twitter.com/5VoE6DxXRz
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) October 14, 2020
“Children have rights just as adults do and they should have the power and agency to claim them.”
She adds that the book is one “some adults don’t want children to read, as it will arm them with the knowledge to defend their rights and those of others.”
“In some countries, girls as young as nine are forced into marriage. Globally, more than 61 million children don’t attend primary schools and in 2019, one in six children were living in extreme poverty, a number that rose significantly during the pandemic. It’s time to remind the world of its commitment to children’s rights.”
The book also features how-to guides as well as stories from young activists who are fighting for human rights around the world. Plus Amnesty has launched an online human rights education course to help children with their activism.
Agnès Callamard, Secretary General for Amnesty International says the book is important in “setting the agenda” for the future:
“When young people are educated about their rights, they are empowered to defend them, to stand up against injustice against themselves and others. Knowledge is key. We will all benefit from a world in which child rights are upheld.”
Know Your Rights and Claim Them is out now in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. (Publication expected soon in Europe.)
(Feature Image Credit: Lachlan Bailey/Amnesty)
*Note: this post was updated on October 6, 2021 to include the book’s publication information for the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.