They “play” emergency: equipped with plastic bullets and bulletproof vests, these boys are going to search a building in Imperial, California. The kids between 13 and 21 years learn how to chase terrorists, hunt illegal immigrants and face down assassins. In one room of the building, a 15-year-old girl lies on the floor as a blood-spattered hostage next to the weapon used to ‘wound her’. The teenagers’ job now is to find the person who shot her.

Since 2001, US police authorities have trained more than 35,000 of these so-called explorers. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is of no use here since the United States, along with Somalia, is the only country not to have ratified it so far.

Curriculum Vitae: Todd Krainin

UNICEF Foto des Jahres: Todd Krainin

© Todd Krainin




Work Experience:

Freelance 2008-(present)

Currently shooting a documentary about Alejandro Gama, a 15 year-old human smuggler from Mexico, who is accused of murdering six illegal immigrants. Still photography featured in The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and others.

  • The Imperial Valley Press 2006-2009

Chief Photographer for a California daily newspaper on the US-Mexico border.

  • The Katmandu Post 2005-2006

Photographed the Nepalese Civil War, general news, culture, human interest, and sports at the local and national levels for Nepal's largest media company.

Awards & Honors

2009 Associated Press - First Place, Enterprise Photography
2009 Associated Press - First Place, Sports
2008 Angkor Photography Festival - Presentation in Siem Reap, Cambodia
2008 Associated Press - First Place, Portraiture
2008 Associated Press - Second Place, Enterprise
2007 Prix de la Photographie Paris - Best Photojournalism, Best New Talent
2007 Angkor Photography Festival - Presentation:"Nepal: Civil War in Shangri-La"



More information on the competition and the UNICEF-Photo of the Year 2009 reportages.

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Renowned photographers from all over the world take part in the contest. An independent jury decides upon the winner.

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