World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child
The World’s Children’s Prize (WCP) builds on the vision that every new generation must be given the necessary knowledge and experience to grow into tolerant, compassionate people. The WCP program engages your students, giving them knowledge of the rights of the child and democracy. Our goal is a more humanitarian world, where all children’s rights are respected. The program empowers children as global citizens, helping them become change agents who contribute to positive development in their country and in the world. Since its launch in 2000, 36.4 million children have participated, with the support of more than half a million teachers. Among the children who learn about their rights and democracy through the World’s Children’s Prize, the majority are vulnerable children whose rights have been violated. They include former child soldiers, debt slaves, street children, and children who have lost their parents to AIDS, genocide or the tsunami. Many of these children did not know they had rights before becoming involved with the program.
The WCP magazine, The Globe, and website are both published in several languages.
The WCP program was founded in 2000 and is run by the World’s Children’s Prize Foundation (WCPF), based in Mariefred, Sweden. The WCPF is a non-profit organisation, independent of all political and religious affiliation, and run with support from bodies including the Swedish Postcode Lottery and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers help to implement the WCP program, including over 700 organisations, institutions and departments of education.
Every year, the WCP program begins with the selection of three Child Rights Heroes as candidates for the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child. Their stories, and the stories of the children they fight for, are presented online and in The Globe magazine, along with facts about the rights of the child and democracy. The World’s Children’s Prize is open to all schools and humanitarian organizations. It is supported by more than 700 organizations as well as institutions, departments of education etc. Many of them implement the program in collaboration with over 50,000 teachers. Through the World’s Children’s Prize, hundreds of millions of people are presented with information on the World’s Children’s Prize program and accounts of rights violations facing children around the world each year.
The program concludes with a Global Vote in which children may participate until (and including) the year they turn 18. Students organise their own Global Vote Days and vote for their Child Rights Heroes. The nominee who receives the most votes is awarded the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC) while the other two nominees receive the World’s Children’s Honorary Award. By the time the prizes are awarded, several million children have learned about the rights of the child and democracy, with the support of around a hundred thousand involved teachers. The WCP program ends with the children voting for their Child Rights Hero in a Global Vote. The (record) number of voting children is 7.1 million.
Adults who perform outstanding work for the rights of the child and/or World’s Children’s Prize can be invited to become patrons of the World’s Children’s Prize. Today, there are three global legends serving as patrons of the World’s Children’s Prize: Nelson Mandela from South Africa, Democracy Champion Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma, and Freedom Fighter Xanana Gusmão, from East Timor. Its patrons also include Queen Silvia of Sweden, and Child Rights Champions and World Leaders (theelders.org) Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu. Artists Loreen and Vusi "The Voice" Mahlasele are also Patrons.
World’s Children’s Prize Laureates
Since the launch of the program in 2000, circa 40 Prize Laureates have been awarded the World’s Children’s Prize. These role models have inspired children all over the world to demand change, and the prize money has helped improve the lives of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable children. People who have made outstanding contributions to the rights of the child can be nominated for the WCPRC. Children at Global Friend schools as well as adults and organisations that support the WCP can nominate candidates for the World’s Children’s Prize. The three final candidates are selected by the WCP International Child Jury. All three candidates are honoured as prize laureates at the WCP ceremony at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden. The recipient of the WCPRC receives US$50,000 and the recipients of the Honorary Award receive US$25,000 each, to be used in their work for children. Since the year 2000, more than 40 prize laureates have received awards and the prize money has given tens of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable children a better life:
- 2000: Anne Frank (posthumeously);
- 2000: (Honorary Award): Hector Pieterson, South Africa (posthumeously);
- 2000: (Honorary Award): Iqbal Masih, Pakistan (posthumeously).
- 2001: Asfaw Yemiru, Ethiopia;
- 2001: (Honorary Award): Barefoot College (Bunker Roy), India;
- 2001: (Honorary Award): The Children's Peace Movement, Colombia.
- 2003: James Aguer Alic, South Sudan;
- 2003: Maggy Barankitse, Burundi;
- 2003: Pastoral das Crianças, Brazil.
- 2004: (Honorary Award): Emani Davis, USA;
- 2004: Paul and Mercy Baskar, India;
- 2004: Prateep Ungsongtham Hata, Thailand.
- 2005: Dunga Mothers, Kenya;
- 2005: Nelson Mandela, South Africa;
- 2005: Nkosi Johnson, South Africa (posthumeously).
- 2006: AOCM, Rwanda;
- 2006: Craig Kielburger, Canada;
- 2006: (Honorary Award): Ana María Marañon de Bohorquez, Bolivia;
- 2006: Jetsun Pema, India (Tibet).
- 2007: Betty Makoni, Zimbabwe;
- 2007: (Honorary Award): Cynthia Maung, Thailand /Burma/Myanmar);
- 2007: (Honorary Award): Inderjit Khurana, India.
- 2008: Agnes Stevens, USA;
- 2008: (Honorary Award): Josefina Condori, Peru;
- 2008: Somaly Mam, Cambodia.
- 2009: (World's Children's Prize Decade Child Rights Hero): Graça Machel, South Africa.
- 2011: Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, The Philippines;
- 2011: Monira Rahman, Bangladesh;
- 2011: Murhabazi Namegebe, D.R. Congo.
- 2012: Anna Mollel, Tanzania;
- 2012: Ann Skelton, South Africa;
- 2012: Sakena Yacoobi, Afghanistan.
- 2013: James Kofi Annan, Ghana;
- 2013: (Honorary Award): Kimmie Weeks, Liberia;
- 2013: (Honorary Award): Sompop Jantraka, Thailand.
- 2015: Javier Stauring, USA;
- 2015: Kailash Satyarthi, India;
- 2015: Prateep Ungsongtham Hata, Thailand.
- 2017: Manuel Rodrigues, Guinea Bissau;
- 2017: Molly Melching, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia;
- 2017: Rosi Gollmann, India and Bangladesh.
- 2018: Gabriel Mejía Montoya, Colombia;
- 2018: Rachel Lloyd, United States;
- 2018: Valeriu Nicolae, Romania.
The World's Children's Prize Foundation has what is called a ‘90-account’. It is regulated by Svensk Insamlingskontroll (Swedish Fundraising Control), which monitors charitable fundraising. Svensk Insamlingskontroll protects the interests of donors and ensures that the funds raised are used appropriately.