In 1959, the UN adopted The Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
“The child is recognized, universally, as a human being who must be able to develop physically, mentally, socially, morally, and spiritually, with freedom and dignity.”
These ideas are the center of the Stolen Childhoods Trilogy – three documentaries that measure society's promise versus performance in upholding our commitments to children's human rights.
The first film, Stolen Childhoods, documented children still treated as chattel, bought and sold, traded and abused for profit. The film's graphic images of exploitation and abuse shocked the world. The International Labour Organization estimated almost a quarter of a billion children were working at hard labor and living and dying in crushing poverty. But Stolen Childhoods offered tools and ideas to reduce child labor and it showed the resilience and beauty of the world's children. In less than ten years of employing these ideas and raising awareness, child labor was reduced by 30%, with 80 million childhoods restored.
Yet for some children, change would come too late. Rescuing Emmanuel went into a darker place, a parallel world of children hidden in plain view. Globally, one hundred million street children can be found, in every country. Without identification or birth registration, children don't exist. Rescuing Emmanuel is an alarm sounding that we lose children each day we delay addressing poverty, abuse, trafficking, abandonment and lack of education. Once a child has lived on the streets, reclaiming childhood is a virtual impossibility.
In 2008, the global financial crisis laid bare a landscape of greed and financial manipulation. Families living on the edge tipped into poverty, the poor became poorer and children bore the brunt. Child labor, after years of decline, soared to new levels. Every other child, over a billion children worldwide, faces life in poverty. Six million children a year die from preventable diseases, over 16,000 a day. Fifteen million kids go hungry in the US. Against this backdrop, inequality grows in the US and abroad. The Same Heart follows the effects of these trends on children and calls for a solution drawn from the financial system itself, collecting revenues from financial transactions to transform the future for all our children.