Hiroko Tanaka

Acid Violence Survivors
Location: Japan (currently)
Nationality: japanese
Biography: Hiroko Tanaka is a Japanese freelance photographer currently based in between Central America (mostly Guatemala) and Japan.  Her primary focus is on social issues, human rights and lives in unprivileged circumstances. Her work includes acid... read on
Public Story
Acid Violence Survivors
Copyright hiroko tanaka 2021
Updated 05/01/13

Acid throwing is a form of violent assault that scar survivors physically, physical disabilities, emotionally, and socially stigmatic. Prevalent motivations behind attacks include hate and jealousy, family dispute, however identifying motivation and gathering information on incidents remain challenging as many cases remain unreported and many victims are afraid to talk about attacks.  In Cambodia, where acid can be easily available and inexpensive, acid is used as weapon to settle disputes.

 Cambodian Acid Survivors Charity (CASC) is the only organization to provide survivors free shelter, medical and psychological care and legal supports in Guatemala. According to CASC, 257 accidents and 306 victims are recorded since 1985. Among them approximately 52 % are female and 48% are males.  Twenty six incidents and 40 survivors were documented in 2010, 17 incidents and 25 survivors in 2011. In 2012, 8 incidents and 9 survivors are recorded by the month of August.  CASC, however, claims many more cases remain unreported. 

 In February 2010, the Royal Government of Cambodia formally acknowledged acid violence as a national issue. On Nov. 4 2011, Cambodian National Assembly passed a long-waited acid violence legislation that penalizes perpetrators and regulates the sale of acid.



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By Hiroko Tanaka — Series of photographs taken from window seat on airplane

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By Hiroko Tanaka — A set of photographs of motorcycle riders in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Motorcycle is main source of..

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By Hiroko Tanaka / Guatemala — Poverty plagues the indigenous in Guatemala with a low level of living condition. Many live in one-room..

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By Hiroko Tanaka / Guatemala — At her 17 th birthday party at her house in a remote small village outside of Panajachel, Guatemala in June..
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