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 recently 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, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and 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.”

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.

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.