Emmy Lucy Smith
Fellow Since 2001
This profile was prepared when Emmy Lucy Smith was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
In Indonesia, the floodgates of consumerism have opened up in the last decade, and thousands of new products from all over the world have poured in. Many are designed for, or at least marketed to, children under eighteen years old and include everything from toys and games to fast food to cigarettes. But many of these new, and sought-after products are not safe and, as Emmy and her team have begun to show, no one has been checking: consumers (especially child consumers) don't know what to look for, and the government has turned a blind eye to the problem. While consumer rights groups have succeeded in introducing protections in other areas, products marketed to children have received little attention. Emmy uses media campaigns, investigative reporting, and exposés on children injured or killed from having used substandard or dangerous products to raise awareness of this pervasive, and serious problem. She shows the public–children and adults alike–that they must care, that they must hold producers accountable, that only through their aggressive action can they reform the current system and achieve a standard of safety and care for Indonesia's children.