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Meta Partners with IJM in Immersive Awareness Campaign

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – IJM has partnered with Meta, alongside AIM, A21 and ECPAT in a cutting-edge, immersive augmented and virtual reality campaign called “Break Free to Fly” that has reached nearly 10 million people.

IJM’s Center to End Sexual Exploitation of Children is a leader in the global fight against the online sexual exploitation of children, one of the world’s fastest-growing and least visible crimes where children are forced to perform explicit sex acts for predators who pay to watch all over the world. It is such a heavy topic it can be easy for people to choose to look away, but the crime flourishes in the darkness of ignorance. Raising awareness in creative and engaging ways like this Meta campaign or like Cadence Media’s “The Fight of My Life” podcast are critical steps towards bringing it into the light.

The campaign, which was launched in August 2022 to 14 markets on Instagram, Facebook and Horizon Worlds, transports the audience into a reenactment of a space where victims were once confined in. The user hears the voices of survivors in their native languages and then watches as they break free like butterflies into a space that represents hope, transformation, freedom and the joy to live again.

Break Free to Fly 360 | Campaign to raise awareness against human-trafficking

“Break Free to Fly” is now Meta’s first case study for using augmented and virtual reality for non-profits and was produced over eight months by a team at Meta and an external agency. Jacqui Free-Sze, the Creative Lead for the campaign said, “I have inherently always felt passionate to use creativity and leverage innovation for social good and purpose; and am therefore beyond grateful for the teams from Meta and partner NGOs to have believed in this vision.”

After the first four weeks of the campaign, ads have generated a total of 27 million views or impressions. Since IJM began to focus on the emerging crime in 2016, over 1,000 children have been rescued from online sexual exploitation in the Philippines, which is the global hotspot for online sexual exploitation of children. IJM is at the forefront of advocacy to protect more children from online sexual exploitation and looks forward to future partnerships with Meta.

“Sex trafficking, specifically the trafficking of children to create sexual abuse materials, can be a difficult topic to broach for new audiences - and so we applaud Meta for stepping in and using its resources to shed light on one of darkest corners of humanity. Indeed, it takes a global response to combat this global crime.”- Evelyn Pingul, Director of Brand, Media, and Communications, IJM Program Against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children.

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