USAID Launches MTV EXIT Campaign in Timor-Leste
DILI, Timore-Leste, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The first-ever MTV concert held in Timor-Leste kicked-off the new, USAID-funded MTV EXIT anti-trafficking campaign last Friday night, June 25th. An estimated 20,000 people packed the city-center venue, about 15% of Dili’s total population, for what was a lively, fun and trouble-free event. For the majority of young people, it was the first time they had attended a concert of this scale.
The concert showcased six of Timor-Leste’s best bands and included the Indonesian rock group, Superman Is Dead (SID), as the main attraction. Popular local MCs and speakers highlighted the issues around human trafficking. Former U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Hans Klemm, spoke to the crowd via a pre-recorded video message, and was introduced by USAID Mission Director Mark White and Program Officer Cheryl A. Williams. The Minister for Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Alves, spoke on behalf of the Timor-Leste government.
“Across Asia, the United States Government supports MTV EXIT’s anti-trafficking campaign through generous support from USAID,” Ambassador Klemm told the crowd. “Together we are committed to ending human trafficking, helping its victims, and catching and prosecuting those criminal organizers in Timor-Leste, in Asia, and around the world.”
The June 25th concert opened a four month public awareness campaign. Media partners, including the national television service and community radio stations across the country will broadcast a range of anti-trafficking shows, including public service announcements, the MTV EXIT Timor-Leste documentary, and a special animation aimed to help young people understand the dangers of human trafficking. The campaign will also include another concert in October in one of Timor-Leste’s district capitals.
With the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and NGO Alola Foundation as local partners, MTV EXIT is monitoring awareness, as well as changes in attitudes and behavior toward trafficking. Surveys from before, during and after the campaign will help inform interventions and show results. USAID Timor-Leste’s media program, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), is also supporting the campaign’s outreach efforts with links to community radio stations in all 13 districts and training courses for journalists throughout the country on the issue of trafficking.
Sadly, more than 2.5 million people are trafficked every year, with the majority of victims coming from the Asia-Pacific region. The MTV EXIT campaign engages and empowers young people to better identify the dangers of human trafficking. Greater awareness of this issue can reduce suffering and abuse — and save lives. With USAID support, MTV EXIT has held 25 concerts across Asia over the past two years, including events in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. The MTV EXIT region-wide program is managed out of USAID’s Regional Development Mission in Asia by Michael Bak, the Senior Governance and Vulnerable Populations Officer.
For more information about USAID and it’s programs around the world please go to www.usaid.gov or contact the USAID press office at 202-712-1917.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent U.S. government agency that receives foreign-policy guidance from the U.S. Department of State. Since 1961, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency extending assistance to countries worldwide recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. USAID has worked in Timor-Leste since 1999. As part of a comprehensive partnership between Timor-Leste and the United States, USAID is currently supporting efforts in democratic governance; health services, including water, sanitation and hygiene; and economic growth.
The MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) campaign is an award-winning multimedia initiative to raise awareness and increase prevention of human trafficking and exploitation. MTV EXIT was launched in Europe in 2004, in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, and expanded across Asia with USAID in 2007. To date MTV EXIT has produced many MTV documentaries and other programming on trafficking, including Sold: An MTV EXIT Special presented by Lara Dutta, Traffic: An MTV EXIT Special, presented by Lucy Liu; Inhuman Traffic, presented by Angelina Jolie; over a dozen localized language versions presented by Asian celebrities; short films; public service announcements; and animation. MTV EXIT and Radiohead collaborated on an anti-exploitation video for their song All I Need, which premiered across MTV’s global network on 1 May 2008. MTV EXIT has also established partnerships with over 100 non-governmental organizations, distributed hundreds of thousands of anti-trafficking brochures in over 25 languages, and reached out to millions of young people through anti-trafficking messages at concerts and music festivals featuring R.E.M., Radiohead, The White Stripes, The Hives, Thievery Corporation, and hundreds of other international and local artists. For more information see www.mtvexit.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. The UN estimates that at any one time there are 2.5 million trafficked victims in the world, with the majority of these victims in Asia and the Pacific. It is the second-largest illegal trade after drugs, with criminal traffickers earning over US $10 billion every year through the buying and selling of human beings. Often, victims are young men and women – the MTV demographic – who are guilty only of wanting a better life.
MTV EXIT Foundation
Launched in 2003, the MTV Europe Foundation is a UK-based charity (Reg. No. 1103267) whose overarching aim is to utilize and maximize the power of MTV’s network to educate youth and adults on critical social and human rights issues. The Foundation produces multimedia programming and events aimed at raising awareness and influencing attitudes and behaviors on key issues, as well as inspiring young people to take action. In addition, the Foundation seeks to support nongovernmental organizations that are working on the ground to address these issues and effect positive change.
About MTV Networks in Asia
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks in Asia comprises three distinctly branded channels in the region: MTV, the world’s largest television network and the leading multimedia brand for youth; Nickelodeon, the leading entertainment brand dedicated exclusively to kids; and VH1, the music video network that keeps adult viewers connected to the music they love. MTV Networks has the following channels and programming services in South and Southeast Asia: MTV Asia, MTV China, MTV India, MTV Indonesia, MTV Mandarin, MTV Pakistan, MTV Philippines and MTV Thailand, Nick Asia, Nick India, Nick Indonesia, Nick Pakistan, VH1 India, VH1 Indonesia and VH1 Thailand. MTV and Nickelodeon’s businesses also include branded consumer products, program sales and digital media including online and wireless.
USAID Public Information: 202-712-4810
SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development