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Aeon has just published my piece on helping the needy of children of this world, entitled “Why every child in need deserves an urgent response,” which you can read in full here.

Here is an excerpt:

‘What would you do if you saw a six-year-old alone in a public place?’ So begins a short video from UNICEF, which has received more than 2 million views on YouTube. In the video, Anano, a six-year-old child actor, is dressed in different ways and placed in different scenarios. When Anano is well-dressed, we see people actively trying to help her. But when Anano’s appearance is altered to make her look homeless, we see people shunning her and sometimes even telling her to go away.

Why do people treat Anano so differently depending on how she is dressed?

One, not very flattering, explanation is that people have ingrained biases and prefer to help the privileged rather than the disadvantaged. After all, the dishevelled Anano resembles a child from a culture of travellers, which could have triggered many prejudices. Still, we can imagine a different child from a different cultural background placed in similar circumstances. It would not be surprising to find that people’s reactions remain similar. Indeed, the people in the video appear to be no different from you and me. Would we have reacted in similar ways if we had been in a similar situation?

Read the full piece at Aeon: nse


  1. 1. Posted by Celso | January 7, 2017 1:07 pm

    Do you think that the kind of help the child help should also enter in the equation? I mean, the well dressed child just need an adult to conduct her to their parents (or someone who will find them) while on the poorly dressed condition the help would require a bigger amount of effort, time and resources. Of course it does not change the conclusion since little time, effort and a small portion of one’s income if applied to charities would contribute to solve the more difficult long term case.

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