RedLight Children Campaign – Child Sexploitation: Expose It. Fight It. End It.

We seek to combat child “sexploitation” worldwide by decreasing demand utilizing mass media and grassroots outreach, which will pressure policymakers to change legislation, allocate resources, and improve enforcement.

About You

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Location

Project Street Address

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n/a

Your idea

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Sector Focus

Civil society

Year the initative began (yyyy)

2006

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Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram

Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Invisibility of problem

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Mobilize peer groups and communities to raise awareness

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

This field has not been completed. (333 words or less)

Name Your Project

RedLight Children Campaign – Child Sexploitation: Expose It. Fight It. End It.

Describe Your Idea

We seek to combat child “sexploitation” worldwide by decreasing demand utilizing mass media and grassroots outreach, which will pressure policymakers to change legislation, allocate resources, and improve enforcement.

Innovation

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What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

We seek to combat child “sexploitation” worldwide by decreasing demand utilizing mass media and grassroots outreach, which will pressure policymakers to change legislation, allocate resources, and improve enforcement.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

RedLight Children believes that curbing demand is vital in the crusade against human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. While providing services to rescue and restore victims is very important, we recognize that the only way to effectively decrease the supply of victims is to reduce the demand. We also realize that an informed and educated public is critical to the reduction of demand.

There are many organizations worldwide working to combat this issue. Many work in rescuing, counseling, and reintegrating victims back into society. Others work to catch and prosecute perpetrators. What differentiates and makes us unique is the multi-pronged approach we take to extinguish demand by cutting off the problem at its source. We want to attack the problem before the potential perpetrators enact their crimes and an innocent person becomes a victim.

We have also enacted an innovative utilization of mass media coupled with grassroots outreach and the development of key partnerships, which is essential to raising awareness of this problem.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

Raising awareness, educating, and promoting activism among a broader audience utilizing film lays the foundation to implement the blueprint on a macro level. The blueprint will focus on deterrence: close loopholes in existing laws, add laws that don’t exist, allocate necessary resources to mirror the scope of the problem, and to enforce the latter.

The film projects are imperative to inspire the public to become involved in the campaign, enter their information on www.redlightchildren.org, thereby sending letters to their government representatives.

How do you plan to grow your innovation?

In order to grow RedLight Children, we focus on stirring conscious concern for the issue. We are currently spearheading this awareness campaign through the K11 Project – three films which expose the reality of the underage sex trade. K11 consists of two documentaries and a feature-length narrative, Holly. Filmed on location in Cambodia, Holly explains the issue of simply addressing supply without tackling the demand. Recognizing the influence of mass media, we continue to accompany Holly in cities throughout the US with educational Q&A sessions, including leading experts on human trafficking, filmmakers, government officials, and dozens of non-profits, religious groups, student groups, and other parties interested in human rights issues.

Through these collaborations, Q&As, press coverage, and grassroots strategy (including interns, volunteers, and pro bono corporate sponsors), we have been able to reach thousands of people worldwide.

Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?

All NGOs we’ve worked with who are engaged in this issue on a grassroots level (student groups, religious groups, localized non-profits) coupled with macro level approaches (press, US State Department), have joined as a direct result of our innovative mass-media strategy. All over the country, we have allowed organizations to use screenings as fundraising opportunities, as well as joining filmmakers and experts for the Q&A discussion following screenings. The film creates a pre-packaged event that dozens of organizations have taken advantage of to promote their anti-trafficking and grassroots endeavors. They have also been able to recruit volunteers and pro bono legal services as a result. Additionally, corporate sponsors help us promote social responsibility in corporate area.

Examples of our grassroots partnerships include, but are not limited to; the UN, UNICEF, US State Department, ECPAT, Charity Water, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Havalight, Promise, Salvation Army, Polaris Project, Soho Synagogue, New York Asian Womens Center, New York Coalition Against Sexual Assault, LexisNexis, SAGE, and many more.

Impact

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Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

RedLight Children’s intended impact is to attack the demand for all forms of child sexual exploitation.

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

The main barrier to ‘creating our impact’ is that we work on a macro level attacking demand universally, which is less quantifiable than direct victim rehabilitation. Although we recognize the importance of rescue and rehabilitation efforts, we also know that solely utilizing this approach doesn’t get to the root of the problem, which is the demand. Furthermore, by thinking outside of the micro level, we can understand how to end the process in its entirety.

RedLight Children’s work involves raising enough awareness to reach those who can make policy changes necessary for legislation and enforcement on a greater scale. Because we work on a macro level, our impact cannot be measured by a direct causation structure. Although we can’t claim that we are the defining factor for an outcome, we can say that we are one of a series of causes that contributed to the result.

How many people have you served or plan to serve?

Through an unprecedented amount of press coverage on the issue, coupled with dozens of Q&A sessions around the country, we have educated countless people and incited dozens more to action in various capacities. RedLight Children has been able to garner an enormous amount of publicity and media attention for the issue of trafficking and child sexual exploitation based on the innovative strategy of using mass media to effectuate social change. A film with an international cast including high profile European celebrities has drawn a unique international press platform. The amount of press coverage we have received -- from the New York Times to Tribuna, a major newspaper in Brazil – is a feat that other NGOs cannot accomplish without the same mass media tactic. RedLight children has formed partnerships with various NGOs and government entities, including the UN, US State Department, and governments around the world, all of which became interested in the subject matter based on RedLight Children’s use of film.

Directly

Our direct impact includes education for 100s of interns and volunteers, press coverage garnered internationally, and funds raised for countless organizations. We have reached out to a tremendous amount of people through our Q&A sessions, press, and grassroots community.

RedLight Children attracts hundreds of interns each year who are then free to, and usually do, establish RedLight networking chapters at their universities and hometowns in the US and abroad. Our collaborative approach involves trying to get as many people active in the fight against human trafficking. Once we have captured the interest of the public, we directly ask people to contact their representatives so that people can take action themselves.

Furthermore, we have directly helped several dozen organizations through fundraisers, and have shed light on anti-human trafficking initiatives in general, highlighting our emphasis on collaboration.

Indirectly

Prior to the filming of Holly, Phnom Penh’s red light district attracted thousands of child molesters and sex tourists. Our on site filming and our collaborations with grassroots organizations on the ground, put international pressure to close down brothels, rescue children, and prosecute traffickers and clients. Due to the noise that Holly and our partners on the ground generated, Cambodia went from being ranked Tier 3 — the worst ranking in the US State Department’s Trafficking In Persons Report — to being Tier 2 post-filming.

We’ve also already seen direct interest from public policy makers from other countries in the blueprint, who are exploring ways they can implement it into their own specific legislation.

RedLight Children’s outreach, thus far, has been enormous. Because RedLight Children is utilizing Holly to raise awareness, we have received press and provided education in Edinburgh, Montreal, Brazil, New York, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Hawaii, and DC.

Please list any other measures of the impact of your innovation?

The press we have garnered in the aforementioned locations has had a huge impact for organizations globally. Bringing attention to the issue makes it much easier for ANY trafficking organization to raise funds, have their voice heard, and make their impact known. The work we are doing is designed to help all organizations involved and to truly stress collaboration.

Is there a policy intervention element to your innovation?

Through the media and Q&As, we promote activism and have garnered a lot of interest from policy makers who have the power to effectuate legal and political change, based on the tenets of the RedLight Children blueprint.

Holly’s launch at the UN Headquarters and screenings at the US State Department and UN GIFT Forum in Vienna, have provided direct outlets and opportunity to speak with attorney generals, legislative members, and other policymakers who have expressed interest in our comprehensive blueprint. The Netherlands is a good example, as after Guy Jacobson spoke in their country he was invited back to speak at Parliament.

Exactly who are the beneficiaries of your innovation?

All organizations involved directly or indirectly with trafficking benefit from the media campaign that RedLight has launched, the networking opportunities we have provided, as well as the fundraising opportunities. The hundreds of interns who have worked on this campaign and helped to spread the word continue the ripple effect of parties benefiting from this communal effort. At the heart of the campaign are children worldwide: deterring and preventing all forms of exploitation.

This Entry is about (Issues)

Sustainability

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How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

The Campaign has been blessed with amazing interns, volunteers, and pro bono corporate partners who leave the operating costs at a minimum. Small fundraising events at Holly screenings, donations, and the worth of pro bono services and materials have sustained the campaign thus far. We have partnered with Ogilvy & Mather for pro bono branding/website services, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP legal services, Latham & Watkin LLP legal services, Goldstein Communications for public relations and marketing services, Ketchum PR, and Iron Copy Center for printing materials. Most recently, we have partnered with LexisNexis.

If known, provide information on your finances and organization

Our annual budget is very minimal, as we have only one paid full time employee, dozens of interns and volunteers, and members of the board who work pro bono. The amount of pro bono time, energy, services, and materials is what keeps our budget manageable.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Through our film component, we have created a network of advocates that cuts across society and has raised RedLight Children’s profile from a grassroots level all the way to international recognition. Changemakers in the US, Holland, Brazil, and Ecuador have sought out the blueprint and direction in how to implement its tenets in their community. This favorable response from both the general public and various governments mirrors high potential demand from other activists, governments, and international organizations for our approach.

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

The nature of the issue is so horrendous that many people are uncomfortable addressing/advocating the issue. Coupled with our macro-level approach, this may lead to difficulty fundraising. We cannot show pictures of the girls we rescued or put dollar amounts on the costs of effectuating macro-level change. Localized aid is much more quantifiable, visible, tangible, versus implementing macro changes attacking the root of the issue: demand. It is a harder to ‘sell’ policy change than to raise money for direct victim aid.

The Story

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What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

Six years ago, Guy Jacobson was backpacking in Cambodia when a group of about fifteen young girls, some as young as five years old, began aggressively soliciting him for prostitution. One said “I yum yum, very good,” and he said “NO.” Another said “mama san boxing us today, I no money” (the madam of the brothel was going to beat them because they hadn’t made any money). He gave them some money and went on his way, but decided that he could not ignore this or let it slide - he was determined to do something about the issue.

Since that experience, Guy decided to utilize mass media as a vehicle for social change. He teamed up with Israeli actress Adi Ezroni and went undercover in brothels using espionage equipment and secret cameras to research and better understand the plight of child trafficking victims. Despite death threats from the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian mafia, Guy and Adi risked their lives and continued production of the K11 Project.

Guy and Adi’s work on the ground level provided the education and foundation for them to address the issue on a larger scale. They established RedLight Children Campaign and developed a comprehensive blueprint of action items to decrease the demand of child sexploitation, backed by a team of international lawyers. Since its foundation, RedLight Children has striven to raise awareness, develop and implement practical strategies, and put this crime against humanity on the agenda worldwide.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material

Guy Jacobson, president of Priority Films, has contributed to all forms of media over the past twenty years. Holly, the highly acclaimed film currently in theaters, is his seventh screenplay.

As Executive Director for RedLight Children Campaign, an NGO linked with the UN, Jacobson utilizes his law and economics background to attack child sexploitation. Holly, the project’s first phase, raises awareness about this epidemic. Recently, the US State Department honored Jacobson as a Global Hero in the 2008 Trafficking in Persons report.

Emphasis of Work

RedLight Children emphasizes prevention of child sexual exploitation by deterring potential perpetrators from abusing children. We seek to make it more difficult and costly to exploit children through our comprehensive blueprint for legislation. The blueprint proposes laws that hold perpetrators accountable for acts that are currently not illegal and make existing penalties more severe, to reduce the demand for child sexual exploitation. It also seeks to increase extraterritorial enforcement and resource allocation to match the size of the issue and further deter perpetrators.

Although RedLight Children insists on the importance of reducing demand, the root of the problem, our prevention initiative indirectly enhances prosecution and protection efforts. Our proposal for increased law enforcement and resource allocation not only deters potential perpetrators from trafficking and exploiting children, but also makes capture and prosecution of existing perpetrators faster, easier, and more efficient. The blueprint also proposes legislation that expands legal protection of children vulnerable to abuses through the Internet, child pornography, and sex tourism.

AttachmentSize
RedLight Manifesto.pdf17.93 KB
2008 TIP Report Heroes Page.pdf713.61 KB
327 weeks ago Brad Denig said: Your entire production is truly inspiring. However, I was sad to see that the movie had been released in November of 2007 and then a ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
327 weeks ago Supriya Kaushal said: It is commendable the work you are doing to raise awareness. I would love to volunteer my time and assist in any way that I can. Supriya about this Competition Entry. - read more >
328 weeks ago sherman sall said: I attended a couple screenings including the opening event at the UN. You can see how the film and their approach of speaking directly ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
328 weeks ago summaya khan said: I am extremely honored to be part of your group. It is so important that we raise awarness of all the injustices happening to people ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
328 weeks ago summaya khan said: I think that Human Slavery is one of the most underminded injustices in the world. Many people are uneducated about it and continue to ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
328 weeks ago Michelle Hawkins said: I ask G-d to give you His blessing in this competition. I beleive in YOU and I thank YOU with all my heart on behalf of these Children ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
328 weeks ago Zack Feng said: I attended one of the screenings in New York, and I have to say you guys are doing a fantastic job. Kudos, and keep up the good work! about this Competition Entry. - read more >