India's "Free the Girl Movement" is taking real action to raise awareness about child prostitution in the country. Along with agency J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, it has opened The School for Justice, where victims of child prostitution train to become lawyers so they can work to seek justice against those who have caused their suffering.
According to a statement from the agency, India has approximately 1.2 million underage female prostitutes -- more than any other country in the world. These girls largely suffer from inhumane working conditions: their ages go as low as seven-years-old and some are kept locked in cages. Despite this, the number of perpetrators prosecuted is shockingly low -- just 55 cases ended in conviction in 2015.
These stats are what helped to inspire the school's opening.
"When we found out that hardly any of the criminals responsible for these crimes are punished .... we quickly realised that a 'normal' ad campaign wasn't going to cut it," said JWT Amsterdam ECD Bas Korsten, who was named to our Creativity 50 last year. "We needed to go beyond the brief and think of a radical and more fundamental approach. We came up with the idea of setting up a School for Justice where the victims of child prostitution are taught law, thus empowering them to prosecute the criminals who once owned them. The School for Justice is a very real solution to a problem -- as well as a communication idea to raise awareness. We are truly proud and honoured to have built this concept from the ground up.'"
The School for Justice's inaugural class comprises 19 students. Girls will receive tuition, education and mentoring until they reach college after which they'll spend five years pursuing Bachelor of Law degrees. The school is partnering with one of India's most respected legal universities (the school's name is being withheld to ensure students' safety) and the program is poised to grow in the coming years.
JWT Amsterdam is known for its innovative branding ideas. Previously, under Mr. Korsten's leadership, the shop created "The Next Rembrandt," the double Grand Prix-winning campaign for ING that "resurrected" the Old Master by using data and technology to create a new painting in his "hand."
Juliette Stevens directed the campaign films out of New Amsterdam Film Company.