22nd June, Mumbai: Free a Girl Movement India’s campaign School for Justice by International NGO Free a Girl was awarded at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Tuesday, 20th June with a Golden Lion in Direct A14/123 category for Charities and Non Profit. The School for Justice campaign overall received 4 nominations- PR, Outdoor, Direct- Use of Ambient Media, Large Scale and Direct- Charities and Nonprofit from the 41,170 entries received by Cannes this year. The campaign is a part of the initiative – School for Justice that was launched earlier this year in India to help tackle the problem of impunity surrounding the issue of child prostitution.
An estimated 1.2 million children have been pushed into the abyss of prostitution in India but, only 55 legal cases leading to convictions in 2015. Through School for Justice, girls that have been rescued from brothels are supported to lead the way in making a difference to the problem. It provides education, training and support to the rescued girls to become lawyers and work within the judicial system to seek justice.
Francis Gracias, CEO of Free a Girl Movement in India expressed his gratitude on receiving such an esteemed recognition on a global platform such as Cannes. “This recognition not only creates awareness about the problem, but will also motivate these young courageous girls to work harder and achieve their goal to become lawyers. We are happy the world embraces our cause and the efforts of these young girls to bring about a positive change within the Indian system. This recognition would never have been possible without the girls, battling social stigma, decided to come out in the open to demand justice.”
Free a Girl alongside J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam came up with the idea of School for Justice. J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam’s global creative team alongside partner Fleishman Hillard PR firm helped Free a Girl deliver a powerful message about the problem of impunity through their campaign across different parts of India. This resulted in generating a keen interest amongst media, citizens, civil society and government spheres in the initiative and bring the problem of child prostitution to the limelight.
The School for Justice’s founding sponsor is AFAS Foundation, who have been encouraging and inspiring people to create a big impact in the world around us. Through their contribution, AFAS believes that these girls will play a pivotal role in bringing about a positive change in India regarding the problem of impunity around forced child prostitution. The Soroptimist Union, Netherlands has already committed for the class of 2018.