‘Taking Destiny In Their Hands’ documentary film

Posted on September 27, 2012

“Taking Destiny in their Hands” is the first attempt to visually document the relevance of the International Movement of Working Children and the central themes that it addresses. It gives the viewers a rare opportunity to listen to children’s analysis of global problems, their strategies to overcome them and their call to adults and policy-makers to give them due recognition as social actors. It provides an overview of the long process that organised working children’s movements of Africa, Asia and Latin America have undergone to create, initially, their own national and regional movements and then a united International Movement. It highlights the struggles and successes of their participation in the international policy making arena. The ILO consultations in Amsterdam andOslo; interactions with decision makers in Milan and Berlin are a few examples in the film that demonstrate how the members of the movement continue to make their voices heard despite tremendous challenges.

Many of the shots for the film have been taken from visual documentation of the working children’s movements and their support organisations. Detailed interviews were conducted in Milan and Berlin – some of them feature in the film.

During the course of the 45 minutes film, children articulate their concerns and insights. They paint their vision for a just society and in no uncertain terms describe themselves as an integral part of the civil society.

The basic issues addressed by the Asian, African and Latin American working children’s movements are the same: the harmful effects of globalisation and the inadequate distribution of resources that are the prime causes of poverty, labour exploitation, the lack of access to education, inadequate healthcare, urban violence, wars, environmental degradation, urban migration, gender, racial and caste discrimination.

Spanning three continents, and a period of over three decades, the film depicts how the similarities of the movements form their foundation and how their diversities bring rich nuances to their struggle. The title of the film has been quoted from the Mayor of Berlin, Harald Wolf’s address to the International Movement in Berlin, and reflects how adults and those in power are increasingly recognising that there is much to be learnt from children’s protagonism and its impact on the society.