Don’t sell these — you’re not helping

As an editorial photographer myself, I was saddened to read this article by a British photojournalist. It seems that Getty Images, one of the world’s largest stock photography sites, has been selling photos of children being exploited as sex workers around the world.

Labeling the photos as “child prostitute” and making comments that the children enjoy the work, is outrageous. First of all, having sex with any child under 18 is a crime — plain and simple. Forcing or coercing a child to engage in sex is human trafficking. The fact that the photographer has suggested it was her idea to engage in this profession, defies belief.

In addition, any minor involved in a commercial sex act in the US while under the age of 18 qualifies as a trafficking victim, even if no force, fraud or coercion is involved, under the definition of “Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons” in the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.[101][103]

from Wikipedia

The idea that a major stock photo house would go so far as to a:) have such photos for sale, b:) sell them for hundreds of dollars each and c:) even more brazenly carry the childs name and address is in my book, unthinkable.

The article states that Getty has acknowledged the problem and has removed “some” from their site. Well excuse me, but that’s a cop-out, plain and simple. They need to remove ALL those photos and refuse to allow their photographers to ever add any more. Nothing less is acceptable.

Please join me in writing Getty’s CEO, Craig Peters, and express our disgust at this lame effort to deflect from a moral responsibility to rid their archives entirely and to stop making a profit by selling these exploitive images. His email is craig.peters@gettyimages.com .

Here’s my email. Feel free to copy.

I held this article for 24 hours to see if I got a positive response from Mr. Peters. I did receive the following:

Sorry, but I wasn’t necessarily believing this was really happening, so I did a quick check and sent the following response.

So, does this sound like an adequate effort is being made? Drop me a note with your thoughts.

Originally published at Stop Human Trafficking Website.

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Writer & photographer in print & online. Proud husband, father & grandfather. Engaged volunteer with Red Cross, human trafficking prevention & social concerns.

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Doug Bardwell

Doug Bardwell

Writer & photographer in print & online. Proud husband, father & grandfather. Engaged volunteer with Red Cross, human trafficking prevention & social concerns.

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