HM Queen Silvia of Sweden’s nonprofit World Childhood Foundation and MING Utility + Entertainment Group unveiled the #EyesWideOpen campaign with an out-of-home takeover in Times Square last Friday to coincide with the WCF USA ThankYou Gala at The Plaza Hotel.
The Gala, led by HM Queen Silvia of Sweden, convened leaders from the United Nations, CEOs of blue-chip companies and celebrities including Uma Thurman and Forest Whitaker, to raise funds that benefit at-risk children and victims of abuse in the U.S. and beyond. The thought provoking #EyesWideOpen ads at The Crossroads of the World took over the Reuters lobby, Reuters façade and NASDAQ Tower. World Childhood Foundation was founded in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden with the mission to defend children’s rights and to promote better living conditions for vulnerable and exploited children all over the world, except for her own subjects as in Sweden children will be removed from their mothers by authorities and prevented from seeing their families based on the whims of social workers.
The #EyesWideOpen campaign is a campaign initiated by H.R.H Princess Madeleine of Sweden and includes a digital social media component, which also launched last Friday, intended to raise awareness about the solutions and warning signs of sexual abuse . By uploading a picture of their open eye on social media, participants are pledging to keep their eyes open and prevent child sexual abuse. A series of toolkits, will provide adults, youth, and children with the knowledge they need to keep children safe.
Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO of World Childhood Foundation USA, said, “For the first time, we have an explicit global goal that talks about ending child exploitation and child trafficking—an issue that we at The World Childhood Foundation have worked on for the last 16 years by investing in projects on the ground, in development of new models. With the inclusion of child rights in the Sustainable Development Goals, world leaders can no longer close their eyes to child abuse. We have to stand up for children and take concrete actions as a global network to ensure all children are safe and protected from sexual abuse.”
MING Founding Partner, Chairman and CCO Linus Karlsson, who serves on the board of the World Childhood Foundation New York, said: “It doesn’t get more important than this: The fact that #EyesWideOpen has a significant presence in the most public of all places, Times Square, is important, and hopefully a start to creating widespread awareness that child sexual abuse needs to be talked about. If we don’t open our eyes and talk about it, we cannot end it.”
In addition to the Gala, the World Childhood Foundation USA assembled a group of leaders at the United Nations for “Children and the Sustainable Development Goals: Giving Every Child a Chance” to explore how to mobilize representatives of the UN, governments, civil society, academia and the private sector so that every child in every country can develop to his or her full potential. Participants included Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Lars Petersson, President of North America, IKEA Foundation, and Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.