60,000 Fans Join International and Local Artists at Historical Concert Event to Fight Human Trafficking

Over 60,000 fans enjoyed Burma's first public concert by an international artist.
Over 60,000 fans enjoyed Burma’s first public concert by an international artist.

American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz took center stage performing to over 60,000 fervent fans at the MTV EXIT “Live in Myanmar” concert yesterday evening at Yangon People’s Square, where the magnificent 2600 year-old, golden Shwedagon Pagoda brilliantly shined in the background.

This ground-breaking event was made possible by the on-going support of MTV EXIT from the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development (AusAID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Walk Free, a global movement to end modern-day slavery; and produced in partnership with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the United Nations Inter-Agency Project Against Human Trafficking (UNIAP) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“We are thrilled to be in Yangon to bring together amazing international and local artists to continue the campaign against human trafficking with the people of Myanmar,” said Simon Goff, MTV EXIT CEO. “Music is such a powerful force to fuel change, and tonight, more than 60,000 people stood up in solidarity to make a statement on this global fight to end modern- day slavery!”

Mraz makes history as the first international artist ever to perform at massive open-air, public concert in Burma. The crowd erupted in excitement as Burma’s favorite female singer Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein joined Mraz on stage to perform the worldwide hit song Lucky.

R Zarni, one of Burma’s most popular artists ignited fans with the live debut of Traps of Life, a powerful song and music video about a survivor of human trafficking struggling to reintegrate into their community. Thailand’s top rock band, Slot Machine, also got the crowd roaring with their guitar-heavy hits Paan (Yesterday) and Chan Chao (Goodbye).

In addition to Asia’s top artists, distinguished speakers also took to the stage to encourage people in Burma and throughout the world to join the movement against trafficking. U Myint Swe, Chief Minister of the Yangon Region Government, welcomed the crowd and opened the historical show along with Police Brigadier General Khin Maung Si, Chief of Police, Myanmar Police Force, Central Body for Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Home Affairs who encouraged the young audience to prevent trafficking in their home community.

Derek Mitchell, United States Ambassador to Burma and Luis CdeBaca, United States Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons expressed the U.S. government’s commitment in their strategic approach to combat human trafficking not only in Burma but also across Asia and throughout the world.

“Human trafficking is a transborder issue that requires transborder solutions.” stated David Carden, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN. “We are working with local, regional and international authorities to address this devastating practice to promote human security for all citizens of ASEAN.”

Later in the evening, in an great moment demonstrating regional support, representatives of ASEAN, including Danny Lee, Director Community Affairs Development, ASEAN Secretariat; Khine Myat Chit, Senior Officer in the Security Cooperation Division at the ASEAN Secretariat; and Mr. Aung Htoo, Director of the ASEAN Affairs Department in Burma; came on stage to encourage the crowd to get informed and protect themselves and their friends and family to avoid falling victim to the transnational crime of human trafficking.

MTV EXIT “Live in Myanmar” will be broadcast in Burma on national television and will air across MTV’s international networks in on 8 March 2013 as a special edition of “MTV World Stage,” MTV’s weekly live music series. Available in more than a half-billion homes, the program will feature footage taken from concert performances, interviews and key information about human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a tragic crime that enslaves and exploits its victims, the majority of which are women and children. There are more than 20 million people living in slavery around the world with Burma and Southeast Asia particularly affected. The concert forms part of a wider initiative that seeks to educate and train youth through innovative television programming, digital content, capacity building workshops and community-based events. MTV EXIT “Live in Myanmar” follows the production of two MTV EXIT documentaries in Burmese on human trafficking, which were broadcast in 2010 and 2012 on national television to educate the public about the dangers of trafficking.American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz took center stage performing to over 60,000 fervent fans at the MTV EXIT “Live in Myanmar” concert yesterday evening at Yangon People’s Square, where the magnificent 2600 year-old, golden Shwedagon Pagoda brilliantly shined in the background.

This ground-breaking event was made possible by the on-going support of MTV EXIT from the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development (AusAID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Walk Free, a global movement to end modern-day slavery; and produced in partnership with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the United Nations Inter-Agency Project Against Human Trafficking (UNIAP) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“We are thrilled to be in Yangon to bring together amazing international and local artists to continue the campaign against human trafficking with the people of Myanmar,” said Simon Goff, MTV EXIT CEO. “Music is such a powerful force to fuel change, and tonight, more than 60,000 people stood up in solidarity to make a statement on this global fight to end modern- day slavery!”

Mraz makes history as the first international artist ever to perform at massive open-air, public concert in Burma. The crowd erupted in excitement as Burma’s favorite female singer Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein joined Mraz on stage to perform the worldwide hit song Lucky.

R Zarni, one of Burma’s most popular artists ignited fans with the live debut of Traps of Life, a powerful song and music video about a survivor of human trafficking struggling to reintegrate into their community. Thailand’s top rock band, Slot Machine, also got the crowd roaring withtheir guitar-heavy hits Paan (Yesterday) and Chan Chao (Goodbye).

In addition to Asia’s top artists, distinguished speakers also took to the stage to encourage people in Burma and throughout the world to join the movement against trafficking. U Myint Swe, Chief Minister of the Yangon Region Government, welcomed the crowd and opened the historical show along with Police Brigadier General Khin Maung Si, Chief of Police, Myanmar Police Force, Central Body for Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Home Affairs who encouraged the young audience to prevent trafficking in their home community.

Derek Mitchell, United States Ambassador to Burma and Luis CdeBaca, United States Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons expressed the U.S. government’s commitment in their strategic approach to combat human trafficking not only in Burma but also across Asia and throughout the world.

“Human trafficking is a transborder issue that requires transborder solutions.” stated David Carden, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN. “We are working with local, regional and international authorities to address this devastating practice to promote human security for all citizens of ASEAN.”

Later in the evening, in an great moment demonstrating regional support, representatives of ASEAN, including Danny Lee, Director Community Affairs Development, ASEAN Secretariat; Khine Myat Chit, Senior Officer in the Security Cooperation Division at the ASEAN Secretariat;and Mr. Aung Htoo, Director of the ASEAN Affairs Department in Burma; came on stage to encourage the crowd to get informed and protect themselves and their friends and family to avoid falling victim to the transnational crime of human trafficking.

MTV EXIT “Live in Myanmar” will be broadcast in Burma on national television and will air across MTV’s international networks in on 8 March 2013 as a special edition of “MTV World Stage,” MTV’s weekly live music series. Available in more than a half-billion homes, the program will feature footage taken from concert performances, interviews and key information about human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a tragic crime that enslaves and exploits its victims, the majority of which are women and children. There are more than 20 million people living in slavery around the world with Burma and Southeast Asia particularly affected. The concert forms part of a wider initiative that seeks to educate and train youth through innovative television programming, digital content, capacity building workshops and community-based events. MTV EXIT “Live in Myanmar” follows the production of two MTV EXIT documentaries in Burmese on human trafficking, which were broadcast in 2010 and 2012 on national television to educate the public about the dangers of trafficking.

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