The new video released by UNICEF is not something you want to scroll past.

I get it. There is an awful lot of “must see” viral videos out there all vying for some attention in internet land. How can you possibly watch them all? The answer is, you don’t. But this one, this one you need to see. We all need to see it.

The video is called “Georgia Social Experiment” and it’s been launched this week by UNICEF as part of their global annual flagship report into the state of the world’s children.

The underlying theme of the video is “a fair chance for every child” and in releasing the video UNICEF hopes to rally the newly elected government to focus on reversing the trends of growing child inequality in Australia with particular focus on child poverty, health and education and ensure a fair start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.

In addition, they want to rebuild Australia’s aid program and target support towards addressing the needs of the most disadvantaged children in our region and importantly, formulate urgent action plans for refugees on Nauru and Manus Island which focus on permanent resettlement plans. 

The video itself aims to get people talking about how we treat children alone in crowded public spaces. To do this they conducted a social experiment which placed the same child, in the same location. The only difference was the way she was dressed.

In the beginning scene we see a young girl, aged six years of age. Her chocolate brown eyes stare down the camera, connecting us with her. Her name is Anano and she is a child actor.

We then see Anano standing, alone, in what seems to be a busy street. It’s bustling, there are people everywhere. The location is alive. The girl is dressed well, in stockings and a pink coat. Her hair is shiny and styled neatly. She looks, by all accounts, as though someone has taken a great deal of time to get her dressed. Someone must love this child, we assume.

But she’s alone.

She is approached almost immediately. A child like that looks out of place, she must be lost, right? People ask her questions; how old is she, where is she from? They are affectionate, bending down to touch her, to show her kindness. There is a genuine concern for the girl, people pull out their phones to assist.


We are then transported back to the make-up chair where we see Anano get a different kind of look. This time she is dirty, her clothes ragged and covered in dust and debris. She looks unkept, scruffy.

When she is placed back in the same spot she was standing, the response is alarmingly different. This time people walk past. They see her but they do not approach. No one offers help, no one asks why she is there, alone in such a busy place.

The scene then changes to a busy food court.

The well dressed version of Anano walks around, she sits at different tables. Each time she is smiled at, offered food. People touch her and interact with her with gentle affection. It’s warm and friendly.

In stark contrast is her journey through the food court as the ‘dirty’ version of herself. The immediate reaction of others is to move personal belongings away, as if she was there to pick pocket. People turn away. They even go so far as to shoo her off when she takes a seat. No one talks with her, no one offers her something to eat. To the diners she is a mere annoyance, something they’d prefer wasn’t there. She’s making them feel awkward, interrupting their meal. One man even asks waiters if they could “make her go away”.

The effect is so damaging that we see Anano run off camera, crying. The experiment is terminated.

The video itself is powerful. I’m still sitting her, with tears welling in my eyes and a heavy feeling in my heart which means the purpose has, to some degree, been fulfilled. We need to reflect, we need to assess and we need to see how our treatment of children differs greatly depending on how they are presented.

This is not ok.

A fair chance for every child. Starting here, starting now.

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