Note: Myanmar language (ဗမာစကား) version available here.
29 October 2013, MYANMAR – Over 13,500 people came together for MTV EXIT’s 2013 Roadshow this month in Mawlamyine, Hpa-An and Pathein, as part of the organisation’s ongoing effort to raise awareness of human trafficking and exploitation in Myanmar.
“It’s vital that we take our message directly to the people who are most at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking,” said Matt Love, Director, MTV EXIT. “By providing vulnerable communities in Myanmar with key information on safe migration and the resources available to them, we are empowering them to make smarter decisions when it comes to taking a work opportunity away from home.”
The MTV EXIT 2013 Roadshow kicked off with a school outreach event in Pathein on 11 October, attended by 480 students. It then moved to Mawlamyine for a youth training session on 17 October, followed by a concert at Basic Education High School No.5 Compound on 18 October.
Over 4,000 people joined the concert, which was headlined by popular artists, including long-time anti-human trafficking advocates Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein and Phyo Gyi. The two singers shared a touching moment on stage during the final number when they sang together under an umbrella as the rain began to fall.
“I believe that educating people about the issue of human trafficking helps them make more informed decisions. During this Roadshow, we are helping to raise awareness about human trafficking by providing concertgoers with information about the issue, such as who they can reach out to for help,” said Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein.
The Roadshow then moved to Hpa-An for youth activities on 19 October and a concert in Zwekabin Hall for over 4,000 people on 20 October. The final stop of the Roadshow took place on 25 October with a concert at Ko Thein Indoor Stadium in Pathein for over 5,000 people.
"World Vision has been working for many years in the three vulnerable communities that MTV EXIT took its Roadshow to this year. The Roadshow significantly increased public interest in the issue of human trafficking, particularly among young people. We hope to see more activities like this, as it gives valuable knowledge to the most vulnerable groups of society," said Khin Myo Thant, anti trafficking project manager, World Vision.
Local and international organisations – including Walk Free, World Vision, the Anti-Trafficking Task Force (ATTF), IOM, ILO and Save the Children – set up information booths at each of the concert venues and distributed thousands of leaflets and posters to concertgoers with tips on safe migration.
“The MTV EXIT Roadshow structure is an awesome model. Parallel to delivering key messages to the public, MTV EXIT gives its partners and stakeholders a platform to join the fight against human trafficking and exploitation. I am very glad that we, as an ETIP (End Trafficking In Persons) program partner, can be a part of such a massive awareness campaign,” said Lin Chal, World Vision Myanmar.
At all concert venues, a large on-stage screen displayed continuous safe migration messages, along with Myanmar's human trafficking hotline number 067 412 666. For many concertgoers, this was the first time they had seen such technology used at an event.
MTV EXIT also distributed 5,000 glow-in-the dark wristbands with Myanmar's human trafficking hotline number 067 412 666 printed on them.
“One of the most impressive things about MTV EXIT’s Roadshow is how it shared information about human trafficking through so many mediums, such as trainings, concerts, posters and drama performances,” said 28-year-old Mya Mya Khet, who attended the concert in Pathein.
“What I learned from the MTV EXIT concert in Pathein is that we must consult with as many knowledgeable and experienced people as we can when we are presented with a work opportunity. We have to be aware of the risks, and recognise that even offers from people we trust, like friends and relatives, need to be researched thoroughly,” said a 21-year-old female who attended MTV EXIT’s Pathein concert.
MTV EXIT has been active in Myanmar since 2012. In December 2012, over 70,000 people attended MTV EXIT’s free concert in front of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, marking the country’s first ever large-scale international concert. MTV EXIT also participated in the Myanmar Government’s first-ever annual Anti-Trafficking in Persons day in Nay Pyi Daw on 13 September this year.
In 2012, MTV EXIT produced the documentary “Enslaved” in Myanmar and five other ethnic languages, followed in 2013 by the music video “Traps of Life” by R Zarni – both with an aim to raise awareness of human trafficking and exploitation. To date, over 100 young people have participated in training sessions organised by MTV EXIT and its partners.
MTV EXIT’s 2013 Roadshow was funded by Walk Free, the global movement to end modern-day slavery. The Roadshow was produced in partnership with Myanmar’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Roadshow was supported by the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), World Vision Myanmar and FXB.
To report instances of human trafficking and exploitation in Myanmar, please call the Police Division’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons national hotline at 067 412 666.
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MTV EXIT is the world’s largest behaviour change campaign in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation. Harnessing the power of the MTV brand, MTV EXIT’s mission is to contribute to a reduction in human trafficking through the design and implementation of innovative on-air, on-the-ground and online activities that equip young people to make informed, empowered decisions. Launched in 2004, MTV EXIT has held 38 awareness-raising concerts in 18 countries, reaching over 850,000 people on the ground with critical information about human trafficking. More than 87 million people have watched MTV EXIT programs on television, and thousands more have attended over 200 community outreach events. For more information, please visit www.mtvexit.org
The Walk Free Foundation’s mission is to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for slavery today. www.walkfreefoundation.org
AusAID is the Australian Agency for International Development. Australia’s development assistance is guided by the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed targets for poverty reduction, and by the Australian aid program’s objective to assist developing nations to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. Australia works with NGOs, multilateral institutions and volunteers, as well as directly with national governments.
USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, is an independent U.S. Government agency that operates under the foreign-policy direction of the U.S. Secretary of State. Since 1961, USAID has been the principal U.S. Government agency extending assistance to countries worldwide recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia, based in Bangkok, oversees a broad portfolio of regional and transnational programs, and also provides support to several USAID bilateral missions in Asia as well as manages programs in countries in which it does not have a permanent presence. Its regional approach addresses problems that cross national boundaries, such as human and wildlife trafficking, HIV/AIDS, natural resources conservation, trade, and political and economic conflict. Please see www.usaid.gov for more information.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967. The Member States of the Association are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. General information on ASEAN appears on-line at the ASEAN Website: www.asean.org.
The United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) was established in 2000 to facilitate a stronger and more coordinated response to human trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). As an inter-agency project, UNIAP works with governments, UN, and civil society partners at all levels – regional, national and community. UNIAP has over 250 local and international partners across seven countries, including well-known international partners ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UNDP, UNESCAP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIFEM, and UNODC within the UN; ARTIP, ECPAT, Oxfam International, Save the Children, and World Vision from the international NGO sector; and dozens of local civil society organizations.
World Vision Myanmar
World Vision Myanmar (WVM) began operating community based development programmes in Myanmar in 1991. WVM began trafficking initiatives in May 2001 and is currently implementing the End Trafficking in Persons program with a regional approach. The program aims to improve the well-being of victims of trafficking and those who are vulnerable to trafficking.
WVM is working with community members in targeted locations to develop and implement strategies to reduce trafficking, giving people other opportunities to stay in their home locations and thus reduce the risk of their being trafficked; and to increase the ability of those who still choose to migrate to protect themselves from exploitation on arrival by providing safe migration information. WVM also focuses on victim protection and providing services such as facilitating their safe return and family reunification and smooth reintegration back into the community. www.worldvisionmyanmar.org
FXB – Myanmar is a Swiss-based INGO, delivering sustainable results for communities affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS. Currently, it is carrying out Vocational Training Program, Comprehensive Care and Psysocial Support Program, Protection and Empowerment of Cyclone Nargis Survivors Program, Safer Sex and Behavior Change for Women Workers Program as part of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Adolescent Reproductive Healthcare Information Program, Teashop Helper Protection Program, Street and Working Children, Livelihood Security Program and Anti-Human Trafficking and HIV/AIDS Awareness Program. www.fxb.org
Human Trafficking is defined by the United Nations as “the recruitment, transportation, and receipt of a person for sexual or economical exploitation by force, fraud, coercion, or deception” in order to make a profit. It is a form of modern-day slavery with the UN estimating that there are more than 20 million people living in slavery around the world, with the majority of these victims in Asia and the Pacific.