Pro Juventute – 30 years children’s rights
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was developed as an international human rights instrument and came into force in 1989. For the first time in history, children were recognized as autonomous beings.
Switzerland has also committed itself to ensuring that children’s rights are respected. This is implemented through three elements: the state, parents and children. For example, specific rights have been incorporated into Swiss legislation concerning the protection of children and adults. As children are particularly vulnerable and cannot assert their rights on their own, the Convention on the Rights of the Child contains particular requirements in addition to general human rights. Children require special protection and care, as well as adults who ensure that they are involved in any matters and decisions which concern them. Children should be listened to and their opinions taken into account when decisions are made. These requirements are important in ensuring that parents perform their duty of care and help their children to exercise their rights. “Giving children a voice” is also the common thread running through the two Pro Juventute special stamps designed by Theresia Nuber.
Interview with the designer Theresia Nuber
Ms Nuber, we know this isn’t your first time designing a stamp. But did you still encounter any challenges when designing this particular stamp?
The challenges are essentially always the same: you have to capture the essence of your subject on a very small scale – in other words, you have to reduce the content and the visuals. It is also important to develop an individual visual imagery for the stamp, so that it can act as a mini-mini-mini-poster. Take the “Giving children a voice” stamp, for instance, where I had the challenge of stylizing a child’s mouth. When I was fine-tuning the visuals on the two stamps, I had to simplify the image of the mouth so that there was room for text in three languages. This was not easy, because I felt this no longer did the mouth justice. Fortunately, you can also see a sort of “heart” or two “wings” in the mouth as well, which perhaps makes up for that.
“Giving children a voice” is the main message of this stamp. How did you go about designing the stamp?
The first thing I always do as a designer is get to grips with the subject, so I read Unicef’s publications on the subject of children’s rights and researched existing Unicef stamps from around the world. I then scribbled down any ideas that sprang to mind on a piece of paper, in the conventional fashion. I sought more inspiration by flicking through publications on art, fashion, interior design, graphic design, product design, nature and so on, and came across the image of a priest’s robes in purple, pink and shades of red. This instantly gave me an idea of how the motif of giving a mouth and a voice should look. I had a clear image in my head of how to go about designing the stamp, just as I did for the Christmas motif. Given I didn’t feel this “stamp pair” was very typical of Pro Juventute, I came up with other design ideas in a child-friendly style. My own childhood drawings were also a source of inspiration. Incidentally, it is always fascinating to see how our lives sometimes come full circle: when I was six, I won first prize in a Pro Juventute drawing competition. The originality of these stamps, which are fairly unusual for Pro Juventute, won out in the end.
Will you also be using the stamps yourself, and why?
Of course I’ll be using the stamps myself, because I want to support Pro Juventute, children and teenagers. They will also give my mail a personal touch.
Philately: from 7.11.2019 to 30.6.2020 or while stocks last
Branches: from 14.11.2019 to 31.12.2020 or while stocks last
Unlimited from 14.11.2019
Offset, 4-colour, and silver; Joh. Enschedé, Haarlem, Netherlands
Stamps: 33 × 28 mm
Sheets: 82 × 198 mm (open), 82 × 99 mm (folded), five rows of two stamps
Stamp booklet: 254 × 62 mm
White stamp paper with optical brightener, self-adhesive, on backing paper, 196 gm2
Serpentine cut (4 sides)
Theresia Nuber, Zurich