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Young people awarded the chance to join world renowned photographers on a trip to Ethiopia

© Reza
Reza pledges his photograph of an Afghan girl in Torabora village in Waziristan, Afghanistan - in 2004 - to illustrate that every child has the right to a childhood.

LONDON, United Kingdom, 11 January 2010 – To mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 20 November 2009, the World Photography Organisation, Sony Corporation and UNICEF are giving six young photographers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Ethiopia for a photography workshop complete with mentoring from acclaimed photographer and humanitarian activist Reza.

For the chance to join the field trip, young photographers between ages 12 and 18 are being invited to log on to www.worldphotographyawards.org/unicef and show their support for children’s rights by pledging a single photograph, accompanied by a written pledge, highlighting one of the five fundamental children’s rights:

  • The right to survival
  • to education
  • to health
  • to protection from harm, abuse and exploitation
  • and the right to be heard

Six selected young photographers will attend the Sony World Photography Awards and World Photography Festival in Cannes, France, in April 2010, where they will collect their award. They will then attend a workshop in Ethiopia for young photographers in the Summer of 2010.

Inviting young people to participate

The field trip to Ethiopia will be run by UNICEF in conjunction with ‘Eye See’, a photo project that provides children the world over with training so that they may learn photographic skills. The project is supported by Sony Corporation and UNICEF, and the goal of its workshop in Ethiopia is to teach children photography techniques and to provide them with a fun and compelling tool with which to capture images of their lives. All of the selected young people will receive mentoring from acclaimed photographer and humanitarian activist Reza.

© UNICEF UK/Turnley
David Beckham pledged: “I have chosen this image to pledge my support for children’s rights. It shows a woman in a feeding centre I visited in Sierra Leone with UNICEF.”

Reza and other world renowned photographers including Jonathan Torgovnik, Mary Ellen Mark and Bruce Davidson have already made photo pledges to support children’s rights. Celebrity UNICEF Ambassadors, including David Beckham and Ewan McGregor, have also pledged images personally chosen from the field trips they have been on with UNICEF.

“UNICEF is thrilled that the Convention of the Rights of the Child has been chosen by the World Photography Awards this year as the focus of its annual campaign,” said Ellen Tolmie, a Senior Photography Editor with UNICEF. “Inviting young people from around the world to participate offers an opportunity for children's visual expressions to be seen internationally. Additionally, there is a possibility of winning participation in a photography workshop with their peers in a developing country.”

About the photo pledges

Everyone has a shared responsibility to uphold the values and promises made to children in the CRC, and photographers of all ages can become advocates for the cause by making a photo pledge for the 20th anniversary of the CRC at  www.worldphotographyawards.org.

All photo pledges will form a special online exhibition showcased on the World Photography Awards website. Selected images may also be exhibited alongside the UNICEF Ambassadors’ images and those taken by World Photography Academy Members at the annual Sony World Photography Awards event in Cannes, in April 2010. These images will then go on a global tour with the event’s touring exhibition. Everyone who submits a photo will receive emails suggesting actions that they can take to change the policies and practices that deny children their rights.

“The World Photography Organisation and its Academy Members are privileged to work with UNICEF and Eye See on this initiative, which not only enables young photographers to use photography to become advocates for children’s rights, but also equips them with the skills to practice photography in the future,” said Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation.

“We wish young photographers everywhere the best of luck,” she added.



CRC @ 20

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