ASEAN Partners with MTV EXIT to Fight Human Trafficking

Ambassador Carden speaks before 40,000 people at MTV EXIT concert in Phnom Penh
Ambassador Carden speaks before 40,000 people at MTV EXIT concert in Phnom Penh

December 17, 2011 – Phnom Penh: MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) and ASEAN have joined forces to promote human security for ASEAN citizens in the battle against trafficking in persons in Southeast Asia.  MTV EXIT, supported by the United States and Australian governments, produces cutting-edge multimedia content, such as free live concerts, public service announcements (PSAs), music videos, and documentary films to raise awareness and increase prevention of human trafficking and exploitation.

The partnership was announced today as the MTV EXIT campaign returns to Cambodia for a free live concert at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, headlined by Korean band After School, and American pop band The Click Five.  MTV EXIT has held 27 concerts across Asia over the past two and a half years, including events in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Taiwan, and the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Timor-Leste.  Concerts will be held in other ASEAN countries next year.

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Political-Security Community, Sayakane Sisouvong, who was present at the concert, expressed that,  ”Being one of the most powerful means and tools with today’s advanced technology and the growth of social media, the music, the film and celebrities, we believe that MTV EXIT can certainly make an additional contribution to ASEAN in its continued effort to reach out to young people in their campaign to increase awareness of the issue through families, friends and neighbors.”

Human trafficking is a crime that affects 2.5 million people worldwide. Of those, more than half are living in or are from the Asia-Pacific region.  Often, the victims are young people who are guilty of nothing more than wanting a better life for themselves and their families. MTV EXIT’s collaboration with renowned international and local celebrities around the world seeks to build a stronger affinity with youth and keep this global problem relevant to them with the objective to inspire and empower youth to drive local action against a global problem by spreading the message to their communities.

MTV EXIT’s new celebrity ambassador to Cambodia, Dr. Chea Samnang said, “Human trafficking is modern day slavery and it is an issue that affects all of us, including my family and yours. It is a crime that needs to be addressed and stopped, which starts from you and me. Let us join the fight together to end this critical social issue in Cambodia and in ASEAN.”

ASEAN has taken measures to intensify the efforts to curb the issue of trafficking in persons as it threatens the stability and prosperity of the region. At the 18th ASEAN Summit held in May 2011, ASEAN Heads of State agreed to strengthen regional and international cooperation to prevent and combat trafficking in persons, enhance cooperation within existing frameworks and instruments, and emphasized the protection of the right of victims.

“The U.S. Government is committed to ending modern-day slavery.  We are proud to work in partnership with MTV EXIT, ASEAN and Australia,” said David L. Carden, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN.

In Phnom Penh MTV EXIT also hosted the first-ever MTV EXIT National Anti-Trafficking Youth Forum in Cambodia co-organized with World Vision Cambodia to empower and engage youth leaders from across the country to spread key anti-trafficking messages. The Forum brought together youth leaders ages 18 to 25 years old for a series of interactive workshops conducted by media professionals over 4 days. The Forum strengthened the youth leaders’ creative skills, while challenging them to produce a campaign plan to take the fight against human trafficking back to their local communities.

H.E. Penny Richards, the Australian Ambassador to Cambodia said, “The risk of being trafficked is a real one for far too many people living in Southeast Asia. Australia is a proud supporter of MTV EXIT and continues to work closely with ASEAN and the United States on this issue of shared international concern.”

For more details about human trafficking and exploitation in Asia, visit www.mtvexit.org or follow MTV EXIT on the following social media platforms: Twitter @mtvexit and www.facebook.com/mtvexit.

MTV EXIT Live in Phnom Penh 2011
               MTV EXIT Live in Phnom Penh 2011