school for justice

April 27, 2017

words by: Vane Karolle

Child prostitution is approaching a billion dollar industry in India. Let that sink in. 

Girls are lured away with promises of marriage, lucrative job opportunities, promises to be made film stars - even the smallest offers of going to the movies or temple. Most end up in brothels in which they are sexually exploited, starved and often beaten if they refusal to comply. Sadly, an average of 50 cases per year at most make it to trial across the country: there is no justice. 

In a bid to combat this sheer inhumanity, the social rights organization Free A Girl Movement sought out the renowned ad agency, J. Walters Thompson Amsterdam to help create awareness. Free A Girl and JWT believe education is the solution. They paired up to create 'School For Justice', an educational institute for girls in India, aiming to teach law to victims of child prostitution.

“When we found out that hardly any of the criminals responsible for these crimes are punished – in 2015 there were 1.2 million girls in forced prostitution vs. 55 legal cases that led to convictions – we quickly realized that a ‘normal’ ad campaign wasn’t going to cut it,” says Bas Korsten, executive creative director at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam. The educational program aims to teach the victims law, “thus empowering them to prosecute the criminals who once owned them,” Bas says. “The School for Justice is a very real solution to a problem – as well as a communication idea to raise awareness.”

The school launched in April with the ad campaign and the first class of 19 students who have experienced child prostitution. The campaign sees Bollywood actress and activist Malika Sherawat leveraging her star power to spread the word. 

Korsten calls this a long-term commitment. “This is not a gesture,” he says, “or an advertising campaign for our office. This idea was conceived on a real brief by a real client.”

There are plans for opening a School for Justice in Brazil together with Free a Girl, he says. "This is not a ‘launch and abandon’ kind of project.”

Watch The Campaign above.

All images and video c/o School for Justice

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