Ten exceptional TV documentaries about young people and children’s rights have been shortlisted for the 2016 Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award for Television. Entries came from countries across the region including Kazakhstan, Fiji, China and Viet Nam and focused on issues such as child marriage, child labour, child bullying, online child sex abuse and street children.
The winning documentary will be announced during the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) General Assembly on 24 October 2016 in Bali, Indonesia.
“These powerful documentaries demonstrate the challenges children face throughout Asia and the Pacific. They are outstanding examples of how television can shine a light on critical issues affecting children,” said Christopher de Bono, Regional Chief of Communication for UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific. “The stories of the challenges and risks affecting children and how they are overcome can help inspire change and make a real difference to children’s lives.”
The ten finalists are:
101 East: Too Young to Wed, produced by Al Jazeera
In Bangladesh, 13-year-old Beezly Roy is preparing for her wedding – a normal occurrence in Bangladesh where almost a third of all girls marry before they are 15. 101 East travels to Bangladesh where young girls are being married off too young.
Cambodia: Circus of Hope, produced by Al Jazeera
A Cambodian school is on a mission to pull destitute children out of poverty by training them to become top class circus performers and to help give them skills for a better future.
Australia: Bringing Them Home, produced by Al Jazeera
In Australia, more children are abducted by a parent per capita than anywhere else in the world. 101 East follows a woman’s fight to bring her sons home.
Galli Galli Sim sim: Boombah gets bullied, produced by Doordarshan National
A show described as a Sesame Street for Indian audiences, this episode focuses on child bullying. The show guides bullied children on how to deal with the problem and also educate other kids to avoid be bullies themselves.
Get Real – Forced to Ride, produced by Mediacorp Pte Ltd, Channel NewsAsia
Child jockeys as young as 5 are hurtling bareback across racetracks at 80km per hour on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. Beyond the cash and the glory, Get Real uncovers a shocking world of abuse, corruption, poverty and death.
Undercover Asia – Children of the Cybersex Dens, produced by Mediacorp Pte Ltd, Channel NewsAsia
Paedophiles worldwide are hunting for children to perform sex shows on webcams and are homing in on the Philippines, where children as young as three months old are being abused for money. In this documentary, the team follows the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), an agency of the Philippine government responsible for cases that affect the nation.
Reel Time: Written on the Water, produced by GMA Network
Mambajog village lies on a small island surrounded by mountains – the fastest route to school requires children to wade across the sea while the tide is low, and trek up the mountain. Despite the exhausting 2 hour trek, the children’s determination to learn never wanes. Reel Time documents their story and finds out what it would take to help them.
Reel Time: Barefoot Pilot, produced by GMA Network
In a remote village in the island of Panay in the Philippines, young Arcel has learned to juggle work and school to help feed his family. He earns a living from selling abaca, a fiber used in producing banknotes, which he sells for barely a dollar per kilo. Facing such hardship, Arcel’s dreams are challenged every day.
Front Row: Badji, produced by GMA Network
In the busy and noisy streets of Manila, a special bond between a boy and his dog has blossomed. 11-year-old Rommel named his dog “Badji”, after his own brother whom he lost in the streets five years ago. Rommel was abandoned as a young boy and quickly had to learn how to fend for himself on the streets. For Rommel, Badji is his only family.
Reel Time: The Price of Gold, produced by GMA Network
The Philippines possesses one of the largest gold deposits in the world. An estimated 18,000 of miners are minors, working to help their families survive. Children as young as 11 years old regularly work in the mines for money that’s barely enough to keep them fed. Reel Time looks into the real price of gold and the impacts it is having on children’s lives.