The Balenciaga website, where images of the campaign were shown.  Hours later, the firm withdrew them and issued a brief statement on its social networks.
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What happened? In recent days, the Spanish luxury brand Balenciaga became trending topic for the dissemination of a campaign that shows girls holding stuffed animals characterized with elements related to the bondage, a term that translates into Spanish as “slavery” or “captivity”, and that is linked to a sexual practice based on the immobilization of the body of a person with ropes or straps.

but there is more: In one of the photos, under a bag, you can see part of a 2002 sentence, known as de Ascroft v. Free Speech Coalition”, in which the Supreme Court of the United States considered, among other issues, that “simulated child pornography is protected by freedom of expression.” For the North American Justice, the term “simulated” includes materials that, through alterations made by computer or adults who appear to be boys, seek to generate the impression of girls or boys participating in sexual activities, for example.

The Balenciaga website, where images of the campaign were shown. Hours later, the firm withdrew them and issued a brief statement on its social networks.

The reaction on social networks. Thousands of users emphasized that it was an “apology for sexual abuse against girls and boys”, also warning about the dangers of the sexualization of children and adolescents, and how this violates their basic rights.

Balenciaga’s response. The brand removed the images hours later and apologized on its Instagram stories for “any offense caused,” stating that its “teddy bear bags should not have appeared with children.” In addition, he assured that he “strongly” condemned sexual abuse “in all its forms”, and said he was taking “legal action” against those responsible for having “created the set and included unapproved items”, which, according to what is understood, refers to to the court ruling page.

If you zoom in on one of the sheets that are photographed in the campaign, you can see that it is part of the sentence known as
If you zoom in on one of the sheets that are photographed in the campaign, you can see that it is part of the sentence known as “Ascroft v. Free Speech Coalition”.

Balenciaga’s response. The brand removed the images hours later and apologized on its Instagram stories for “any offense caused,” stating that its “teddy bear bags should not have appeared with children.” In addition, he assured that he “strongly” condemned sexual abuse “in all its forms”, and said he was taking “legal action” against those responsible for having “created the set and included unapproved items”, which, according to what is understood, refers to to the court ruling page.

Why is this important? “This publicity is functional to the pedophilia industry and, from complicity, a call for the naturalization of the sexual exploitation of girls and boys,” says Navarro.

An image from an edition of Vogue France magazine published years ago.
An image from an edition of Vogue France magazine published years ago.

A web page every two minutes. In the last year they found, every two minutes, a site that showed a child being sexually abused, according to data from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an American organization that articulates with countries around the world against the sexual exploitation of girls and kids.

In Argentina he is on his way to equip himself with drug trafficking. The country is among those that most traffic this type of material. Since 2018, in Argentina is criminally punished the possession of material for the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, regardless of whether it is possessed with the intention of sharing or commercializing it.

what can you. For Wachter, it is key, in cases like these, not to contribute to the dissemination of images or content that violate the rights of girls and boys. How can we do it?

Debts at the public policy level. Progress is needed in the definition of what constitutes sexual abuse material according to international standards.

Navarro asks to stop talking about “the so-called child pornography” and refer, instead, to sexual exploitation material against girls, boys and adolescents: “Years ago we stopped using the term ‘child’ because it does not describe the subjects of rights that girls, boys and adolescents are, and because ‘childish’ can be a game. Furthermore, boys and girls are not actors, they are victims.”

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