Works Rights of the Child / Aux droits de l’enfant Darren Copeland

Rights of the Child / Aux droits de l’enfant

  • Darren Copeland
  • Year of composition: 2009
  • Duration: 44:07
  • Commission: Réseaux des arts médiatiques, with support from the CCA

The idea of this piece originated during an artist-in-the-school residency produced by Theatre Direct called Letters to Africa at Kent Senior Public School in November 2007. The theme of the residency was the impact of AIDS on youth in Africa and one of the texts we referenced was the “UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Child Friendly Language,” (published by UNICEF). A selection of the articles from this convention are interspersed in this piece. There are also sounds of young people speaking out in the media for human rights or adults speaking out for them. In incorporating these media clips I explored notions of re-orchestration and transposition to build textures and rhythms around these voices that underscore their emotional and sociological back story.

In order of appearance you will hear from:

  • Severn Cullis Suzuki during her speech to the UN in 1992 at the age of twelve
  • Chinyanta Chimba, a Youth Diarist for UNICEF Radio, who interviewed young people about the actions they are taking to prevent HIV in Zambia
  • Ryan from Blunt Radio who overcame a serious drug addiction at a young age
  • Mohammed who reported to UNICEF radio on going to school in a Bagdad suburb amidst gunfire and other violence
  • Marleni who spoke about Violence to Children in Belize for a UN Consultation that was broadcast by UNICEF Radio
  • a videoclip produced by CBC News World of Omar Khadr during a CSIS interrogation at Guantanamo Bay
  • a thirteen year old spoken-word artist Farij Abbas from the Youth Troopers of Global Awareness in Mississauga, Canada speaking on the topic of child soldiers
  • youtube footage of the Sri Lanka protest in Toronto mixed with footage from the Guardian (which Guardian newspaper) newspaper website on the shelling of a Sri Lanka hospital and the use of Child Soldiers by the Tamil Tigers
  • a poem read byspoken-word artist Mustafa Ahmed recorded by Randy Risling and Tara Walton outside his Regent Park housing complex in Toronto.


Rights of the Child / Aux droits de l’enfant was commissioned by Réseaux des arts médiatiques with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Thank you to Lynda Hill of Theatre Direct for opening the door and for Nicolas Bernier of Réseaux for keeping the door open.


  • December 1, 2009, iConcerts: iConcert 12 (Copeland)