We are ceasing the use of identifiable features of children aged under 18 from our photography and videos and we will completely remove children’s faces from all our fundraising activities from the 8th of September onwards.
Our new #OverExposed campaign aims to reframe the thinking around using images of children for fundraising purposes and, importantly, we anticipate it will galvanise a sector-wide change in the way that organisations reflect on their own editorial standards.
We all know that for many years photos of children’s faces have been the bedrock of fundraising so while it hasn’t been an easy decision to stop using them, we’re sure you agree that it is the ethical one.
We believe that using images of children in poverty, who are often suffering destructive trauma, is exploitative rather than helpful. The images live online forever, strip children of their dignity, and objectify them. These children deserve better.
Our CEO Anna-Mai Andrews explains: “How can a child who doesn’t understand what a complex, multi-channel fundraising campaign is, possibly consent to their photo being used in it? This is the reason we’ve stopped using identifiable images of children in our brand and campaigns and why we encourage other organisations to do the same.”
Poverty, disaster, conflict, and injustice is heart-breaking and we all understand that it is critical that people worldwide understand these realities. However, images of children in these situations paint a desperate, one-dimensional story that all too often leaves people feeling guilty, disconnected, or even conflicted between sharing them and turning a blind eye.
#OverExposed addresses the complex power dynamics that underpin the use of these images, stressing the needs of children are better highlighted through positive and respectful communication practices.
It includes the way images of children are collected, stored, and used, recognising the critical importance of their own privacy and intellectual property as highlighted by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It also acts as a catalyst to improve policy, educational resources, and ethical standards.
We are proud to be leading this essential shift from presenting those we support as ‘helpless victims’ by using dignified storytelling and images that truly protect the child’s identity, rights and wishes.
The #OverExposed campaign is a brilliant opportunity to reframe our collective thinking by changing the visual conversation on how children are represented in campaigns to reshape their future for the better.
Ultimately, we must ensure children who face adversity experience the same protections, considerations, and rights as any other child in the world.
We hope you will join our #OverExposed campaign. Please show your support and make a pledge on our website https://chanceforchildhood.org/overexposed/.