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#MissingGirl (portrait)

The organisation MISSING was founded by Leena Kerjriwal and started as a public art project after years of working with NGOs such as Apne Aap, Hamari Muskan and New Light. As an artist, Kejriwal fought against human trafficking by creating installations in galleries that brought up the realities of sex trafficking. She felt that the world needed a new approach to tackling human trafficking and introduced MISSING as a four-part Art As Activism movement through her #MissingGirl stencil campaign.The stencil campaign aimed to raise awareness of human trafficking in local communities and educate people on the issue, as well as helping people thinking about how they can stop modern slavery. Over two years, the campaign has spread beyond India to include six countries and 18 cities, with 2,500 stencils and over 42 million impressions made on people. The campaign continues today and you can find out more here. The stencil is a black silhouette of a young girl. This black hole cut out from the fabric of our environment shows how millions of girls disappear as a result of modern slavery.

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This mural was painted by graffiti artist Gamma Acosta on the side of his family's restaurant. He frequently paints murals on this site and this mural on human trafficking is no longer present. Acosta believes that the temporary nature of his murals encourages people to visit them whilst they are there. Painted in 2015, this piece and its title #NotForSale highlights the issue of forced sexual exploitation.

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Anti-Slavery Day

This mural was created on the wall of the People's Republic of Stokes Croft for Anti-Slavery Day on 12th October 2012. The PRSC was established in 2006 and is a community enterprise that aims to improve the landscape of Stokes Croft through direct action and creating a sense of identity.The mural highlights the forced sexual exploitation of women and girls. It states that '2 million women and girls imprisoned in the sex trade…you're probably standing within 5ft of one of them now'. It also provided a freephone helpline number.Unfortunately this mural no longer exists.

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Elimination of Violence Against Women

This mural was created by street artist Hyuro as part of a series of pieces that celebrated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th November 2013. Hyuro is one of many artists who took part in the Memorie Urbane in Italy.This concept began in 2011 when Davide Rossillo, the president of creative tourism, had an idea about bringing contemporary art practices into the open space to create an open-ait museum. Memorie Urban proposes a new way of doing tourism and the team behind it began recognising 25th November in their project with this piece in 2013. This specific mural is in the city of Formia. It shows rows of women holding a banner with hundreds of tally marks, highlighting the number of women who have been subjected to violence, both inside and outside of slavery. The women and the banner wrap around a column on three faces. When these faces are put together (as in the first picture above) they form the continuous line of women and tallies.

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Fighting Until We Find Them (Luchando Hasta Encontrarlas)

The project Luchando Hasta Encontrarlas (Fighting Until We Find Them) was started by a group of mothers of girls from Juarez, Mexico who went missing and are presumed dead. The girls' family members and the police believe that these women were kidnapped and trafficked as prostitutes before being murdered. Since 1993 more than 430 women have disappeared and been murdered in the area. The project raises awareness by creating murals in the region, with public buildings, churches and businesses donating their walls for artists to create these pieces. Their aim is to create 200 murals across Ciudad Juarez to raise awareness of what is happening to young girls and women in this region and demand justice for those who have lost their lives. The local authorities told families that they were putting a stop to the search for their daughters, claiming that they were giving the city a 'bad name'. However these families are determined to campaign for justice. The above murals were created by Maclovio Macias and the artist also took part in a 200 mile march with many mothers who have lost their daughters. In the first piece, the quote reads 'No me Hallo. Estoy Desaparecida', which translates to 'I do not find me, I'm missing'. The rest of the mural contains images of mothers holding posters of their missing daughters, and these depict real families and real missing women. For example, the final image shows Esmeralda Castillo, who disappeared on 19th May 2009. 

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From Your Strength, I Weave Your Beauty

This mural shows an older woman on the left, with struggle carved onto her face. On the other side, we see her young daughter who pulls the fog that envelops her mother and uses this fog to weave threads of gold, creating a new life for both of them. It is situated in Lodhi Colony, an area of New Delhi that is full of murals thanks to the St+Art India Foundation. This non-profit organisation takes up projects to make art accessible to the public with their murals and installations in the area. This piece was created by Shilo Shiv Suleman with survivors of sex trafficking who are involved in Sewing New Futures. This is a social enterprise that empowers survivors and girls at risk of trafficking through career training, education, medical care, and social services. The company opened their pilot centre in May 2014 and has gone on to train and employ women to create fashion items, which are sold worldwide through their website. Suleman is involved with the Fearless Collective, an organisation that is building a movement of women across South Asia using beauty and art to reclaim public spaces with their stories. Set up in 2013, the organisation has created 25 murals, in eight countries and with hundreds of co-creators and is currently raising funds to open the first Fearless Collective Public Art Residency. 

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Good Shepherd

This mural was created by students of the Don Vicente Rama Memorial National High School with those involved with the organisation Good Shepherd, which supports vulnerable women and children. In Cebu City, the organisation has a Welcome House that was established in 2007 and takes in women and children who are survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. This drop-in centre provides women and children with a safe space to discuss their experiences, receive food and get help.The piece is on the wall of The Shepherd's Heart Cafe, which aims to empower beneficiaries of Good Shepherd by providing them with work and training. Initially the cafe was set up by the organisation with the help of Peace Corps volunteers Amelia Kent and Roy Adam, before being taken over and run fully by beneficiaries of the organisation. Unfortunately, as of 2018, the cafe is permanently closed. This mural highlights the economic motive behind slavery and stresses how people are sold for the profit of others. On the left hand-side, a woman sits in a pile of money, while two hands shake below her. The innocence of the young girl who is crying on the right is emphasised by the doll she is holding and her school uniform.

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Let Us Remember

In 2011, English literature students at T.C. Williams High School, Virginia, were inspired to create a mural and raise money for survivors of forced sexual exploitation. After reading Sold by Patricia McCormack, a novel about sex trafficking in India, the students wanted to do something to combat slavery.At the centre of the mural is a quote by Eli Wiesel, the writer, professor and political activist who survived the Holocaust. Surrounding the quote are the students' hand prints - for every hand-print placed on the wall, students made a $3 donation and the students raised over $100. The proceeds went to Courtney's House, an organisation that helps survivors of sex trafficking. The charity was set up in 2008 by Tina Frundt, a survivor of sex trafficking, and fights to protect children from sexual exploitation. The charity provides counselling, medical treatment, food, clothing and toiletries to survivors of sex trafficking. Erin Neff, Assistant Project Manager of Courtney’s House, visited the students and explained that the organisation's name allows survivors to say they are 'just going to Courtney's house'. Neff also told teachers that the organisation has helped survivors who have come from T.C. Williams High School, emphasising the fact that the sex trafficking of children is 'something that happens in our backyard.'

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Project GOLD

In 2016 survivors of child sex trafficking who are involved with the charity Kristi House, which provides support to survivors of child sexual abuse, helped to create this mural. The charity's Project GOLD (Girls Owning their Lives and Dreams) Drop In Centre welcomes girls who have been sexually exploited and provides support to them, regardless of their current residential placement. A counsellor is also available to talk and girls can relax or study in the home-like setting. The programme is based on the Victim, Survivor, Leader model of GEMS and Project GOLD is shaped and directed by survivor input. The artist met with the survivors several times and composed drafts of images for the mural, receiving feedback and altering the images to fit with the survivors wishes. The mural is of a woman's face with many colours in her hair - this symbolises the different experiences and identities of each contributor. This project was fuelled by the use of PhotoVoice - an arts-based research methodology, where the survivors used art as a method of expression and healing. It began when Lauren Suarez stated working with Kristi House's Project GOLD in the summer of 2014. After two years of engagement, she initiated the PhotoVoice project as a research initiative to allow providers to learn more about survivors' experiences. The creation of the mural fits with Project GOLD's focus on survivors and in their goal of getting girls to own their lives and dreams. The charity also runs Project BOLD, which reaches out to boys and highly underserved, misidentified and high risk subset of sex trafficked youth in the LGBTQI community.

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Save Yazidi Women

This mural was part of the 2016 Welling Court Mural Project. The project began after members of Welling Court community met at Ad Hoc's Bushwick gallery and invited Ad Hoc Art to come up with a vision to beautify their neighbourhood. With the community's support, the first mural was created in December 2009 by M-City. The rest of the winter was used to plan the launch of the first multi-block mural project that occurred in May 2010 with over 40 murals. With a mix of artists and new talents, the Project hosts over 140 murals by artists from around the world and it is one of the most well-known collections of contemporary street art.This mural was created in response to the treatment of Yazidi women in Iraq. Thousands of Yazidi women have been kidnapped, raped and tortured by ISIS in Northern Iraq, with many forced to marry ISIS fighters and sexually exploited.

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Second Life

This piece was created over a year by 15 artists who came together to tell the story of the Chattanooga landscape being reborn. They were inspired to create this piece for human trafficking survivors who are a part of the non-profit organisation Second Life. The idea behind the piece is that, although the outlook for survivors can often look bleak, there is hope.Second Life  was created in 2007 and aims to end human trafficking through prevention, policy and survivor services. They provide individuals, groups and organisations in the Lower East Tennessee region with knowledge of human trafficking to enable them to be aware of signs of this phenomenon and what to do if they have suspicions. They also provide expertise and support to the private and public sectors to help make effective policies that will end human trafficking. Their services also provide aftercare to survivors and they coordinate with community resource providers to address the specific needs of individual survivors.Due to the privacy of survivors and the safeguarding measures that are in place, the exact location of the mural, in East Brainerd Tennessee, is unknown.

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Sex Slave

This mural was created as part of the Elementi Sotterranei Festival (the International Graffiti Festival) in Gemona del Friuli, Italy. It depicts a man trapped in a cage and a woman holding the key. In this piece, traditional roles are reversed and the woman holds power.

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Sex Trafficking Awareness

This mural was completed by Joel Artista alongside students from the University of Dayton's Art Street Centre for the Sex Trafficking Awareness Project. This campagin aims to raise awareness of forced prostitution and the sexual exploitation of women and girls in the USA. Through workshops with Artista, students expressions of sex trafficking were combined with an image of the Riman goddess Proserpina. In the mural, she struggles to break free from her captor, the god of the underworld, and her mother, whose hand reaches out for her. This imagery highlights the violent and painful kidnapping and forced prostitution of thousands of girls and women, both American and foreign, across the US every year. Proserpina's struggle is also shown with writing all over the piece in different languages, with phrases such as 'desperation', 'escape', and 'wasted youth'. Joel Artista (Joel Bergner) has completed several murals against human trafficking and modern slavery. He is an artist, educator and activist who is celebrated for his antislavery artwork and murals. Artista's art is heavily influenced by his work with communities and non-profit organisations, and in 2015 he joined forces with Max Frieder to form Artolution. This community-based arts initiative empowers artists, youth and communities to be agents of positive social change and explore critical societal issues and create opportunities for constructive dialogue.

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Slaves...Other Stories

This mural in Buenos Aires was part of a series organised by Red Mundial Juvenil Argentina, Vínculos en Red and Art Emprende. Painted in a small square Plaza la Victoria, the murals depict different kinds of violence, abuse and exploitation that children and teenagers suffer. On 19th September 2015 an event was held to unveil the murals, with artistic and recreational workshops about child abuse and the maltreatment of children.This piece was completed by antislavery activist Alicia Peressutti, who has written several novels based on the accounts of those who have survived trafficking, prostitution and abuse. She fights to make the stories of these survivors heard and believes this is vital for the eradication of modern slavery.

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STOP Trafficking In Persons

This mural was created in Sierra Leone by WHI (World Hope International) with FAAST (Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking). It highlights different types of slavery, including forced sexual exploitation and forced labour. The piece raises awareness of the vulnerability of migrant workers and stresses that people must be careful about accepting jobs that might sound "too good to be true".World Hope International is an organisation that works with vulnerable and exploited communities around the world. It aims to alleviate poverty, suffering and injustice, and this mural was created as part of their anti-trafficking work in Sierra Leone.WHI is a member of FAAST, an alliance of Christian organisations that are working together to combat slavery and human trafficking. Other members include Compassion First, who work with survivors, and the Salvation Army. WHI was the lead in FAAST in Sierra Leone and have helped raise awareness of modern slavery in the country.

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Student Art Against Human Trafficking - Bogota

In 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) visited different areas of Colombia to educate children and young adults on how to recognise, report and prevent human trafficking. As part of this program, children from various schools and communities created murals to show their understanding of human trafficking and their support of modern slavery survivors. Of the 1,900 children with whom UNODC worked, the majority lived in areas where levels of prostitution and drug crimes are very high. This mural was created in Bogota, the capital and largest city of Colombia. The piece reads 'solo tu le pones valor a tu vida', which translates to 'only you can put value on your life', with the hands below breaking the chains of slavery.

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Susana Trimarco Portrait

This mural is a portrait of Susana Trimarco and raises awareness of human trafficking and forced sexual exploitation. Trimarco’s daughter, Marita de los Angeles Veron, was kidnapped in Tucuman in 2002 and forced into prostitution in La Rioja. Trimarco took matters into her own hands when she suspected that the police and government officials were not doing all they could do find her daughter. She has personally led 10 searches to find her daughter by going undercover as a prostitute in bars that doubled as brothels in La Rioja. She found the phone numbers of people she believed were involved in sex trafficking, tracking them and setting up meetings to help free the girls that were being trafficked. Trimarco has survived two murder attempts because of her efforts to infiltrate sex trafficking rings and her undercover efforts have led to the rescue of 150 trafficked girls, some as young as 12 years old. In October 2007 she set up the Fundacion Marita de los Angeles to help survivors of sex trafficking – the organisation provides free legal, psychological and social support to survivors and their families. In 2008 her lobbying efforts led to human trafficking being made a federal crime in Argentina.In February 2012, 13 people, including former police officers, were put on trial for allegedly kidnapping Marita and holding her as a sex slave in brothels. In December 2012 they were acquitted of this crime as the court ruled there was no way to prove that Marita had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. This verdict led to protests across Argentina and the three judges were accused of corruption by the public. This mural was created in January 2013 to raise awareness of Marita’s case, Trimarco’s activism and the severity of sex trafficking in Argentina.

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The Phoenix of Human Rights

This mural was completed alongside the Montreal Mural Festival and raises awareness of sex trafficking and forced sexual exploitation.Local community activist Heidi Yane and her daughter Megan Yane came up with the idea for the mural. It was created as part of the organisation About The Way Out, which was founded in 2013 and offers lodgings and support to survivors of sex trafficking.The piece contains the handprints of many people who are involved in human rights issues, including Alwyn Morris and Kakaionstha Deer, as well as a survivor of the Cambodian 'killing fields'. The phoenix is a symbol for rebirth after death and represents spirituality, direction, protection and awareness. It sends a message that the rights of a survivor of human trafficking are just as important as anyone else's rights.

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Thistle Farms: Cafe

This mural was created by Mark Palen in 2014 and is situated on the wall of Thistle Farms Cafe, which is part of an organisation that helps survivors of human trafficking. Thistle Farms' mission is to Heal, Empower and Employ. They provide safe housing, economic independence and a strong community of advocates and survivors. A two-year residential program called the Magdalene Residential Programin Nashville, Tennessee provides housing, medical care, education and training for jobs for up to 32 women. Residents and graduates of this program are employed in on of their social enterprises including Thistle Farms Cafe, which sells sells body/home products that are made by these survivors.The organisation was founded by Becca Stevens in 1997 when she provided shelter for five women who had experienced trafficking, violence and addiction. Thistle Farms has helped many women over 20 years and they employ more than 1,800 women worldwide, with more than 40 sister communities.

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Thistle Farms: Love Heals

This mural was created by Michael Cooper in 2017 and is situated on the wall of Thistle Farms Cafe, which is part of an organisation that helps survivors of human trafficking. Thistle Farms' mission is to Heal, Empower and Employ. They provide safe housing, economic independence and a strong community of advocates and survivors. A two-year residential program called the Magdalene Residential Program in Nashville, Tennessee provides housing, medical care, education and training for jobs for up to 32 women. Residents and graduates of this program are employed in on of their social enterprises including Thistle Farms Cafe, which sells sells body/home products that are made by these survivors.The organisation was founded by Becca Stevens in 1997 when she provided shelter for five women who had experienced trafficking, violence and addiction. Thistle Farms has helped many women over 20 years and they employ more than 1,800 women worldwide, with more than 40 sister communities.