Lending a voice to the voiceless: Zain launches stark, high-impact campaign against child abuse

April 07, 2015


Child abuse is a sensitive and tragic topic in the region, and Zain is amongst the first to address the matter so directly.

Zain Group, a leading innovator in mobile telecom in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces the commencement of its multi-faceted media campaign to raise awareness about the ills of child abuse and shed light on this often taboo, yet tragic topic. Zain is looking to highlight this global phenomenon and support children from the region, especially in those areas ravaged with conflict, to grow free from abuse so that they can achieve their full potential and actively contribute to and enjoy our wonderful world.

Zain is determined to offer a voice for those who have previously been voiceless, and its hard-hitting child abuse campaign strongly showcases this. Starting on April 6, 2015, Zain introduced a regional television and social media campaign supported by print adverts targeting verbal, physical and sexual abuse without depicting it visually.

Three different themed videos have been produced that will be shown on regional TV and YouTube (www.youtube.com/zain). A series of stark, black and white posters will also appear in print adverts and Zain social media channels (www.facebook.com/zainwww.twitter.com/zainwww.instagram.com/zaingroup), depicting stricken young children with accompanying text giving an insight into their plight, such as “Fadi was 11 months old when he said his first word. Fadi is now 8 and not saying much at all.” Another example of the hard-hitting supporting text is one advert that reads, “Abuse can damage a child. Help them open up”.

This bold communication makes Zain one of the first companies in the region to seriously address the issue of child abuse and the need for child protection so directly and falls in line with the company’s pioneering approach in all aspects of its business and interactions with stakeholders.

Commenting on the commencement of Zain’s latest child protection campaign, Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer commented, “Zain is committed to the safety and well-being of the communities it serves. In an era where technology and telecommunications have the potential to significantly impact societies across the world, Zain recognizes the need to raise awareness so that the most vulnerable segments of society across the region are protected from abuse and exploitation.”

This latest campaign reaffirms Zain’s long-standing approach to this critical social issue as the company is already actively involved in a child abuse-related initiative with the GSMA; dating back to February 2011 when Zain joined the GSMA Mobile Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Content campaign that aimed to ensure that individuals or organizations wishing to use, or profit from child sexual abuse content using the mobile environment, are prevented from doing so.

Further, in November 2014, Zain partnered with the GSMA’s agreement with Child Helpline International (CHI) to protect young people and safeguard their right to be heard. The GSMA and CHI jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding that established a roadmap for promoting child helplines across the globe. The roadmap included measures to strengthen relationships between national mobile operators and their in-country helplines and foster collaboration on issues such as a safer Internet for children.

Similarly to Zain’s outlook to offer protection to vulnerable sectors of society, last year CHI also launched the ‘Free Our Voices’ campaign to generate public support for child helplines internationally. Utilizing custom sound recognition technology, visitors to the campaign website can sign the petition by verbally recording their name, instead of the usual written or digital signature. Find out more at www.freeourvoices.org.

Highlighting these issues in this region is a brave move by Zain given the sensitivity of the subject matter, and the company remains undeterred in its determination to shed light on the plight of abused children and to help in the eradication of this destructive occurrence.