Children’s Rights and Social Justice

Case studies from Nicaragua as a resource for students and teachers

KS3: ages 11-14KS4: ages 14-16PDF

The eight case studies in this resource tell the following true stories of children and young people in Nicaragua organising and taking action on social justice issues in their communities to defend their own and other children’s human rights.

  • Child coffee plantation workers researching workers’ rights on the plantation
  • Children and young people campaigning for a local council agenda for children and youth
  • Nicaragua’s indigenous children defending their right to play
  • Children and young people using community theatre to raise awareness and help prevent family violence
  • Child scavengers using local radio to promote social justice
  • Children organise to demand action on UN recommendations on children’s rights
  • Children organise to put an end to illegal sale of alcohol and the damage it causes to families and communities
  • Young people organise to stop illegal logging and prevent the environmental damage caused by deforestation

They were put together by a children’s rights organisation in Nicaragua (CESESMA) and formed part of a project coordinated by Leeds Development Education Centre. An important aspect of this project was its focus on encouraging children and young people to get involved in action for social justice. Learning about and discussing the Nicaraguan children’s experiences presented here can be a starting point for this process.

As far as possible the stories are told by the young people in their own words. Each case study also provides ‘ideas for action’, ie: ways to support the young people featured (like buying fair trade coffee), and ideas on how to identify similar problems in your own community and take action on these too.

There is no guidance provided on subject or age-range for using these case studies in class, so teachers will have to adapt these materials to suit their own circumstances. They are probably most appropriate for secondary and post-16 students.


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