Tuesday, March 17, 2009

US govt, MTV use animation to fight human trafficking

SINGAPORE (AFP) — Music channel MTV on Monday announced the release of a US government-backed animation programme aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Asia.

The half-hour anime show entitled "Intersection" will feature the voices of Asian film star Ananda Everingham and MTV VJ Taya Rogers and will premiere on MTV Asia on March 20, it said in a statement.

The story will be told from the perspective of five individuals who are part of the trafficking chain -- the victim, trafficker, brothel owner, client and undercover police officer.

"I am proud to be a part of this project that will educate young men and women in Singapore and all over Asia on this important issue," Everingham said.

"I hope the animation will stir meaningful conversations about how we can fight against this tragic form of modern-day slavery."

UN estimates show that there are 2.5 million victims of human trafficking worldwide at any one time, according to a joint statement from MTV and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Human trafficking is the second-biggest illegal trade after drugs and those involved in the trade earn more than 10 billion dollars a year, it said.

Singapore and Malaysia were identified among the top destination countries for trafficking victims from poorer countries, the statement said.

"Intersection" is part of a series of programmes produced by MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) in partnership with the USAID to educate the public on the human trafficking scourge.

"We're using a different medium, animation, to alert young people about the risks of human trafficking," said USAID mission director for Asia Olivier Carduner.

Last year, MTV organised a concert at Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temple as part of its anti-human trafficking campaign.


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