The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today announced the appointment of internationally renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado as a Special Representative to help raise awareness about the rights of young people worldwide.
The announcement came at the opening in Brasilia of Mr. Salgado's exhibition Exodus, also called Migrations, which is the result of a seven-year project documenting the global displacement of people due to economic hardship, conflict and natural disasters.
"We are very pleased to formalize our relationship with Sebastião Salgado, one of the world's great photographers," said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy. "Working with Mr. Salgado, we hope to raise our visual communication to a new level and reach an even wider audience."
"Over the years, I have been repeatedly impressed by the on-the-ground operations of UNICEF and the UN refugee organization, UNHCR," said Mr. Salgado. "Both have supported my work when needed, so it is a natural progression for me to continue developing this collaboration. Being a UNICEF Special Representative will be an added opportunity to participate in the critical, international debate on the human condition."
As a Special Representative, Mr. Salgado will promote child rights issues through his photography, a collaboration with UNICEF that has already begun. In September of last year, supported by UNICEF and the UN, Mr. Salgado exhibited at UN Headquarters 90 portraits of displaced and refugee children.
In other current projects, Mr. Salgado has donated reproduction rights to several of his photographs to UNICEF in support of the Global Movement for Children, a new coalition of child rights advocates. He is also donating images on children and war to illustrate the forthcoming book by Mozambique's Graça Machel, updating her 1996 report as UN Special Representative on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. Presently, UNICEF and the World Health Organization are coordinating Mr. Salgado's coverage in several African and Asian countries of the global campaign to eradicate polio.