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A Closer Look: Unicef: Ten Years Strong...And Every Day Counts

Animation is a vital tool at UNICEF for communicating life-saving information. Unlike any other medium, animation has universal appeal. It is quick and to the point. It can cross gender, age and cultural barriers. As well as communicating health messages, animated characters can provide role models that alter children's lives for the better by changing perceptions or teaching tolerance. The active involvement of UNICEF in the world of animation came in 1990, when it hosted an Animation for Development Workshop in Prague, where representatives from UNICEF country offices met with animators from around the world to exchange ideas and experience, and consider the role that animation could play in conveying life-saving messages. The workshop also started the ball rolling on several UNICEF animation initiatives. Through the International Animation Consortium for Child Rights, a global group made up of top animation studios, animators and distributors are producing 30-second features created by animators from industrialized and developing countries to raise awareness of children's rights. The goal is to coordinate all aspects of production to ensure close collaboration leading to a unique and effective campaign. The partnership has grown to include over 70 animation companies as well as independent animators from 32 countries. The spots are being offered free of charge to broadcasters around the world through National Committees for UNICEF and UNICEF field offices.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF has applauded the massive public support of the Convention which in just a decade has resulted in unprecedented gains for children worldwide. But UNICEF's Executive Director, Carol Bellamy also warned that much remains to be done, and that "every day counts" when it comes to implementing the full scope of this groundbreaking human rights treaty. "In terms of global development, ten years is just a wink," Ms. Bellamy said. "But in the life of a child, the passing of ten years is a lifetime in itself. When it comes to fulfilling the rights of children, governments and societies must realize that time makes a difference," Ms. Bellamy continued. "Every day counts. And we owe it to them to move more quickly toward its fulfillment. Today we call upon leaders of every kind -- in government, business, academia, the media, and in communities and families -- to recommit themselves to the very essence of child rights: providing every child in this world with a healthy upbringing, a quality basic education, and the opportunity to make the most of his or her potential."

Give thirty seconds of your time for the Cartoons for Children's Rights. UNICEF is currently looking for contributors to produce the third tape in its collection of 30-second non-verbal animated PSA's. For more information please see details on the UNICEF web site and contact George McBean Head of the Design Unit, UNICEF NYHQ, email:

AWN is proud to feature UNICEF's web site in The Animation Village. The site has been updated. The Cartoons For Children's Rights section now displays each spot of the 2-video collection of 30-second non-verbal animated PSA's with an image depicting each spot.

Read more about UNICEF and animation in Animation World Magazine:

UNICEF Draws on Talent to Advance Children's Rights Deborah Reber provides a look on how almost 80 studios around the world joined forces to form UNICEF's International Animation Consortium for Child Rights.

The Making of Child Soldiers John W. Rice relates how he and his fellow artists at Fil-Cartoons in the Philippines created a public service announcement for UNICEF's International Animation Consortium for Child Rights.

Meena Comes To A Store Near You ... If You Live in South Asia UNICEF's Meena is ready to launch this November and become the non-profit's first project to be ultimately self-financing. Christian Clark explains how and why this huge step involves bringing L&M to rural and remote places.

Ron Diamond, publisher of Animation World Magazine, discovered Alina Chau, Hiu Fan and her film Frieden: The Tree of Peace at a recent screening of student works at UCLA. Moved by the plight of children in war torn countries, Alina made this remarkable film as a gift to the United Nations.