Flags4Rights – 100 flags for rights

An open-air exhibition of 100 artworks created by children and young people from all over the world installed in the city centre of Reggio Emilia on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to Save The Children’s Global Childhood Report 2019, nearly 700 million children are deprived of their rights as children.

In addition to issues such as malnutrition, lack of medical care, lack of access to adequate education, in recent years the number of children who suffer because they live in conflict areas has been greatly exacerbated. 

Today, around 31 million children worldwide have been forced to flee their homes in an attempt to save their lives, and in 2016 alone 53,000 children were killed as a result of the violence, 64% of them in the Middle East and North Africa.

On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the city of Reggio Emilia drew the attention to the children’s rights, which are still denied in many areas of the world today.

Children’s drawings have become the flags of rights that transformed the city of Reggio Emilia into an open-air exhibition from November 2019 to March 2020. A repertoire of naive or conscious drawings or graphic signs by young artists and designers from all over the world, some of them from refugee camps. Also the children of Reggio Emilia contributed to this collage with their drawings of institutional flags and with a path dedicated to rights proposed in the infant-toddler centres and preschools of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia. 

“We wanted and tried to leave as much as possible the imprint chosen by children, graphic signs - at times naive at times conscious – of these artists of different ages.”

“The resulting images, are vivid, powerful and transmit distinctly the individual voice, as children living and existing in extreme, inhuman conditions, produce a visual-storytelling that is intense and brutal, but exceptionally coherent and clear.”

“Protecting children also means investing in denied rights. In the right to education, for example.”

Drawings not on rights but due to rights – denied, experienced, lost, dreamed of.

The initiative has triggered a strong network of partners who worked together to create the open-air exhibition under the patronage of many national and international institutions. The theme of rights was the focus of January 7, 2020, the day of the Celebration of the Italian flag, dedicated to the rights of children and young people.

The sports world has also embraced the project, with flags at Rugby, Basketball and Football matches in Reggio Emilia, initiatives open to the city such as the first flag-themed Instameet or the walks among the flags.

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