#WorldPhotographyDay – 7 Photographers Changing The Narrative On Child Rights

Whether through digital channels, print or on exhibit, the impact, influence and reach of visuals has never been greater. But with so many images fighting for our attention, how do photographers create visuals that most effectively stand out and connect with us?

This World Photography Day, here’s 7 photographers who have helped bring our attention to the rights of children, in an ever-evolving environment, media landscape and culture now ruled by visuals.

1.STEPHANIE SINCLAIR

Stephanie Sinclair is an American photographer, well known for portraying the gender and human rights issues around the world. Her widely published images of the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan refute characterizations of violence in anything but human terms. Although she has covered the dramatic events of war, her most arresting works confront the everyday brutality faced by young girls around the world.

The ongoing capstone of her career is her 15-year series, Too Young to Wed, which examines the deeply troubling practice of early, forced and child marriage as it appears in a variety of cultures around the world today. The series has earned numerous global accolades and now exists as a nonprofit with the mission to protect girls’ rights and end child marriage.

2.RAVI MISHRA

A ardent visual activist, Ravi Mishra’s work for human rights both behind the camera and on the field are noteworthy, to say the least. From issues affecting the lives of women and children, environment to pandemics, he has covered issues of India today. Founder at Everyday India, his work on child labour opened a can of worms in the coal mining industry.

Using the power of his photos to influence change, his work has been published across leading publications in the world. He has also been serving as the brand ambassador to one of India’s leading human rights organizations, the People’s Vigilance Committee, which fights for marginalized people in several Indian states.

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Every morning at 4 a.m. 5-year-old eyes open up to shrug off all thoughts about procrastinating at work which involves seemingly endless treks up and down the burning lands in the open pit coal mines of Jharia till late afternoon. Keeping aside all kinds of harrowing experiences of body ache from previous day's work and sometimes continuing with an ailing stomach, the child wakes up to start his day along with his friends and other people (mostly women) from the vicinity to scavenge coal and balance baskets as heavy as 30 to 50 kg atop his still-developing head on every single trip across the dangerously unsafe and fiery terrains. This is the situation of almost every child who works in these coal fields to earn a living for the family leaving behind all sorts of playful desires of childhood that were fulfilled for most of us, fortunately. Even after being completely aware of the conditions, officials are more concerned about the profits they earn, and the helpless parents choose survival of family over everything else and hence, end up utilizing their most efficient and trusted resources- their children for earning a living at the cost of basic education and carefree childhood. This year I will be sharing stories that I have covered in Jharia for the past 8 years. #Everydayindia #everydayclimatechange #everydayeverywhere #people #life #climatechange #pollution #fire #nature #India #Asia #reportagespotlight #landscape #NatgeoEarthDay #tybitto #dailylifeindia

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3.POULOMI BASU

Poulomi Basu is an Indian transmedia artist, photographer and activist, widely known for advocating for the rights of women and girls. Time and again, she has found herself amongst ordinary people who quietly challenge the prevailing orthodoxies of the world in which they live: rural women in armed conflict, a mother’s pain for a son lost to ISIS, to the wonder of a near blind child reaching for the light.

She created Blood Speaks – A Ritual of Exile, to utilise the power of photography and visual storytelling/activism to result in tangible social change and amplify the voices of women and girls from the majority world.

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#ARitualofExile : Women Create Habitat. They shape the natural environment in accordance with the natural rhythms of their own body. They create a space in which humanity can prosper and thrive. “It’s dark, and there is no light. I feel so scared someone might come.” Radha is only 16 but once a month her habitat is radically altered: she is exiled into a makeshift shelter deep in the forests of Nepal. Her only crime is that she is menstruating. Radha is an untouchable, an ‘impure’ polluting agent, to be feared and shunned. During menstruation, her touch will bring calamity and sickness to a man, even to animals. To put it simply, for her community, she is an ill omen. Like her mother before, her Radha must follow the damaging ritual of Chaupadi. Alone in the wildness, the women are at the mercy of the elements; many die, bitten by snakes, or asphyxiated from the smoke of a fire, which they use to keep warm in the cold; sometimes the fire catches the hut and they die in the ensuring blaze; women are raped, and in some cases, abducted, and murdered. Those that survive their repeated exiles, must spend a lifetime battling with the devastating consequences of PTSD. This ritual is one of the most abusive forms of human rights violations to women. . . @formatfestival @magnumfoundation @wateraid #Installation #photofestival #NewMedia #contemporaryphotography #HABITAT #UK #HerRights #EndViolence #SmashShame #BreakTheSilence #SaveOurGirls

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4.ALTAF QADRI

Altaf Qadri is a world renowned and award-winning photojournalist, whose tryst with conflict while growing up in Kashmir, lends a great deal of humanism and insight to every topic he photographs and every frame he captures.

Qadri believes that photographs highlighting human suffering can make a difference, but he doesn’t restrict himself to only taking pictures. He recently helped policemen bring two United Nations staff to safety in Kabul, Afghanistan, after their guesthouse was attacked. His bent towards child rights in different emerging contexts, has reflected through his work over the years too.

This Associated Press Photographer, and Ted speaker, is also the founder of the School of Narrative & Aesthetic Photography.

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Afghanistan-Children Of War —————————— When 9-year-old Eimal stepped out of his home in the Panjshir Valley in northeastern Afghanistan, he had no way of knowing that his life was about to change. He was playing in a field near his home when he stumbled upon what looked to him like a strange toy. But when he reached with his hands to pick it up there was a loud bang and Eimal was thrown several meters (yards) across the field, blood seemingly everywhere. Eimal, who like many Afghans uses only one name, had just picked up one of millions of unexploded land mines scattered all across war-torn Afghanistan — a legacy of more than 40 years of war. Afghanistan has the unenviable reputation of being among the countries with the most unexploded land mines and other ordnance. According to the United Nations, there are 150 land-mine casualties a month in Afghanistan. Eight of every 10 casualties is a child who inadvertently picks up an unexploded ordnance. Some are even made to resemble toys. In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, photo, Farshid, 13, cries while lying on a hospital bed at Emergency Surgical Center for Civilian War Victims in Kabul, Afghanistan. The total number of children killed or maimed in more than four decades long Afghan war is not known. But, with a population where close to 50% are under the age of 20, the losses among the young is tremendous. #afghanistan #war #children #landminevictims #landmine #photojournalism #childrenarethevictims #apphoto #armedconflict @unicef @savethechildren @apnews @emergency.ngo @icrc Text and photo by @altafqadri

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5,TANMOY BHADURI

Tanmoy Bhaduri, an Independent photojournalist based in Kolkata, India. He covers under-reported issues on development, human trafficking, women & child rights, insurgencies, climate change, land rights, conflicts & natural disaster. His works have appeared in national and international publications, bringing to the fore many stories of children across India and the North East.

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A girl on her way to Educational Complex for ST Girls in Badapada, there are 246 girls who study in the light of one solar-battery powered lamp. According to the villagers, this is the only thing that works in the area. Maoist-infested #Malkangiri, located on the tri-junction of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, has always faced challenges of accessibility. There have been several major attacks on security forces in the area lately. A series of encounters between Maoists and security forces have resulted in the death of many villagers. The cut-off area comprising about 150 villages and separated by the Balimela reservoir is known as the fort of the Maoists. #india #reportagespotlight #cnn #bbc @pulitzercenter @instagram #indiaphotoproject #odisha #andhrapradesh #chattisgarh #border #conflict #zone #maoist #insurgency #onassignment #india_gram

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6.ROHIT JAIN

Rohit Jain is an Independent Social Documentary Photographer and short story writer, based in New Delhi, India. His work focuses on human and life development photo stories. He aspires to go further and commit himself to do some deep photo stories about life, its ups and down, and social issues. From covering the disabled children of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Children working as ragpickers, tribal children, amongst others, his work strives for activism through photography. Though he has in the past used his art to create awareness, it is with ‘Aftermath’, a curation of 35 years of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, that Rohit Jain, grantee of the Pulitzer Centre’s grant for Crisis Reporting, showed how visuals could awaken the public to social consciousness, moving beyond mere entertainment.

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#memories 14 year old Lahari Gameti and 10 year old Nirmala Gameti, both sisters, frolicking with volleyball on their way to volleyball court, in village Kelu Khadra. In the hills of Aravali, on every evening, volleyball rises while the sun sets; when girls from Bhil tribes punch the volleyball hard in air across the net. Abandoned lands in a corner of villages of Gogunda block of Udaipur district, India, become alive with girls whizzing around with volleyball, practicing ‘rallying and passing’ and learning ‘spiking and blocking’. The journey is a tough and long one for these Bhil girls. Belonging to a tribe and having a poverty-ridden background has resulted in them not seeing life beyond the hills around their villages. However, they not only have to compete for survival in the market system of a modernizing society, but also fight to claim space in a society dominated by upper castes. Because of the girls’ situation, a non-profit organization called @vikalpsansthan has taken the initiative to train the tribal girls to play volleyball and empower them for a bright future. For full story, link in bio. #sports #volleyball #volleyballgirls #reportagespotlight #yourshotphotographer #girlboss #thephotosociety #makerswomen #infinite_worldwide #worldpressphoto #documentaryphotography #indiapictures #instagood #browngirlgang #girlgaze #womenempowerment #genderequality #p3top #unicef #savethechildren #india_gram #indianshutterbugs

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7. SMITA SHARMA

Smita Sharma is an independent photojournalist based in Delhi. Her work primarily focusses on human rights, gender, health and social issues. Her work has been published in various international publications and has been screened and exhibited globally.

Since 2015, Smita has been working on a project on human trafficking in South Asia where she is documenting the flesh trade, domestic servitude and bride trafficking and how it operates in the region.

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#Repost from @nytimes ・・・ In Dooars, India, the walk to school is long and dangerous, making young girls easy targets for attackers and traffickers. “They’re like fishermen waiting for the bait,” said @smitashrm. The photographer, who splits her time between Delhi and Calcutta, has spent the last 3 years documenting survivors of sexual violence in India. But she kept coming across women who had been trafficked and sold into domestic servitude, an industry she says gets little attention in comparison. “These girls are not in demand in the sex industry because they are too dark and skinny. That is why they are sold as domestic slaves,” she said. Dooars has become a hub for this kind of trafficking. Girls as young as 10 are put in households through traffickers posing as placement agencies. What employers don’t know is that some of these girls arrived via a modern day slave trade. Here, @smitashrm photographed C., 35, with her daughters. C. used to be severely beaten by her husband. When a trafficker promised her a job, she was taken to Delhi and sold for $300 in 2014. She was rescued from a private residence in Sonipat in July 2017. Visit the link in our profile to read more, and follow @smitashrm to see more of her work.

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