Terre des hommes
- For the English translation of "Terre des hommes" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, see: Wind, Sand and Stars. For other uses, see: Terre des hommes (disambiguation).
Terre des hommes, also Terre des Hommes (Land of People, literally, Land of Men) is an international charitable humanitarian federation which concentrates on children's rights, founded in 1960 by Edmond Kaiser in Lausanne, Switzerland. Terre des hommes campaigns for a more equitable relationship between the countries of the northern and southern hemispheres, without racial, religious, political, cultural or sex-based discrimination. The organization is named after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 1939 philosophical memoir "Terre des hommes" (English title: Wind, Sand and Stars).
Several independent organisations coexist under the name of Terre des hommes and work together under the aegis of the International Federation of Terre des hommes (IFTDH). The various national organisations of Terre des hommes met in 1966 to form the International Federation of Terre des hommes, headquartered in Geneva. Today, eleven organisations in Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain and Syria belong to the Federation. An important part of the IFTDH's work is as a consultant to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Terre des hommes Lausanne
Today, two organisations are located in Switzerland: the Terre des hommes Foundation – child relief (Tdh), located in Lausanne, and Terre des hommes Switzerland, whose Swiss-German headquarters are in Basel, with a Swiss-French secretariat in Geneva.
Over time, Tdh has become specialised in two areas of expertise: health and child protection. From Algeria to Myanmar, and from Afghanistan to Peru, Terre des hommes – child relief implements field projects in more than 30 countries to allow a better daily life for over 1.4 million children and their close relatives. Tdh brings both development projects – such as the long-term improvement of care in Benin or fighting against malnutrition in Bangladesh; as well as emergency aid – such as the tsunami-affected regions of Sri Lanka or in Haiti following the earthquake in January 2010.
Promoting the Convention on the Rights of a Child is an important activity of Tdh. Advocating for children’s rights, defending them, and spreading information are tasks which Terre des homme – to the aid of children considers a priority. The widespread recognition of children’s rights will depend on constant efforts in the field.
Terre des hommes Germany
Terre des hommes Germany was founded in Stuttgart on 8 January 1967 by Lutz Beisel. At the outset, Terre des hommes Germany was intended to help injured Vietnamese children and to provide German hospitals with medications. Today, Terre des hommes Germany supports over 500 projects in 25 countries, with funds of €17 million, and has regional offices in Thailand, India, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Mozambique. Headquartered in Osnabrück, Terre des hommes Germany is independent of the State, Church and political parties. Staff and volunteers are organised into local working groups in around 150 German cities and towns.
Terre des hommes Netherlands
Terre des hommes Netherlands is a non-profit organisation which works to defend children’s rights throughout the world. Terre des hommes Netherlands supports 297 projects—created and established by local organisations—in 22 countries. Locally based, these projects are closely linked in to the problems the local people face. They offer, for example, evening classes for children who have to work during the day, and sports for children with a disability.
Terre des hommes Spain
Terre des hommes Spain is a non-profit-making foundation, an associated member of the International Federation of Terre des hommes, giving direct aid to the most vulnerable children. Terre des hommes financially supports various direct relief programs for children in many countries in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, for social aid and education, the rights of children and mother-and-child health care. In Spain there is also a campaign for awareness-raising, entitled "Stop child trafficking", with the aim of fighting all the various forms of child exploitation. Terre des hommes Spain also carries out significant medical aid for children from several African countries, thanks to the program "Journey towards Life".
Terre des hommes France
Terre des hommes France (TDHF) is a philosophically, religiously and politically independent organisation. A non-governmental association for international solidarity, it works to establish the conditions for development that is sustainable, and ecologically and economically viable – North and South. To do so, Terre des hommes France works with partners in the field on activities that protect and defend economic, social and cultural rights. Its goal is to encourage the development of local civil society and to both integrate these rights into national legislature and achieve their respect in the everyday.
Ethiopian paedophilia allegations
In 2008 Terre Des Hommes-Lausanne brought a defamation suit against a teacher in Ethiopia, Jill Campbell, for accusing the branch of knowingly hiding child abuse in one of its centres in the village of Jari. Mrs Campbell compiled evidence which helped to convict a British paedophile who was sentenced in 2003 to 9 years hard labour in prison. Another suspect committed suicide after posting a confession on the internet. However Mrs Campbell alleged that senior staff running the centre knew of the abuse, covered it up and failed to inform the authorities.
Mrs Campbell faced 6 months in prison if she failed to withdraw the allegations. Her husband Gary had already withdrawn similar allegations in order to avoid prison and ensure that one of the couple would be able to look after their two ten-year-old adopted children. The charity eventually withdraw its suit before Campbell was due to be sentenced on 7 March, saying that her husband's apology was sufficient.
In a statement the charity said that it asked the court not to sentence Mrs Campbell because her husband had made a full apology.
“From the First Instance Court to the Ethiopian Supreme Court the judges have upheld the Terre Des Hommes argument in this respect and ruled accordingly.”
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2008)|
- Official Sites
- (English) (French) International Federation Terre des Hommes
- (French) (German) (English) Terre des hommes Lausanne
- (German) (English) (French) Terre des hommes Germany
- (English) (Dutch) Terre des hommes Netherlands
- (Spanish) (English) Terre des hommes Spain
- (French) Terre des hommes France
- (French) (English) (Spanish) (Italian) Terre des hommes Switzerland
- (English) Canadian website