Cannes Lions

Trash Babies

WUNDERMAN THOMPSON, Casablanca / UNICEF / 2019

Digital Proof JPG
Digital Proof JPG
Digital Proof JPG

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Despite important reforms to Morocco's Family Code in 2004, the law provides little protection to single mothers who can still face criminal prosecution for having had sex outside of marriage.

Counsellors are few and far between and trying to persuade fathers to officially recognize babies so that single mothers can have the legal status and rights of a legitimate child is almost impossible.

Women feel that if they keep the child - and the father doesn't recognise it - people will point fingers at her. Moroccan society is not very forgiving.

Moroccan law provides protection for single mothers, but entrenched cultural norms mean they still face enormous social barriers. Those who choose to keep their babies can be ostracized by family and friends and find it impossible to support themselves.

Execution

The subject of child abandonment is a taboo in Morocco. Many photographers declined to work with us and permits to shoot on the streets were hard to get. Subjects like these are not discussed openly. This was the first time anyone has ever created awareness about it publicly. The photographer had to shoot in the dead of night in order to highlight the loneliness, juxtaposed with the celebratory objects. What’s very important to highlight is the fact that – with the help of the local Unicef officials – we found street refuse bins where newborns had been found. We requested that we use the actual sites where children had been left. The reasoning behind this decision was to reveal how real this problem is, and how it affects every community. We decided to not show gruesome pictures or even people so that the Moroccan public would not dismiss it.

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