UN, MTV and award-winning band launch campaign against human trafficking
UN NEWS CENTRE - The United Nations Children's Fund ( UNICEF ) launched a joint campaign with MTV Latin America, the television network Tr3s and rock band Calle 13 to raise awareness about human trafficking and exploitation of youth in Hispanic communities.
The campaign ' MTV EXIT,' which stands for End Exploitation and Trafficking, features a documentary and a song by Calle 13, and includes mass media broadcasts, online initiatives and local events and activities with young people, encouraging them to participate in the campaign.
"Increasingly adolescents and young people are vulnerable to being trafficked and exploited in the region. We can reduce the risks they are exposed to if we provide them with the necessary education and tools to protect themselves," said UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bernt Aasen, at the launch.
According to UNICEF, at least 550,000 children, adolescents and youth have become victims of trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean, often forced into unsafe sexual practices and drug use.
The documentary Invisible Slaves - hosted by two of Calle 13's members, Residente and Visitante - addresses how this issue is affecting the continent and includes interviews with young people who have been affected by trafficking and exploitation.
"Youth is our future and we need to educate them not exploit them," said Residente. "We are thrilled to be supporting this campaign and look forward to working with MTV and UNICEF to address other related issues like education."
The band has also donated the rights of its song Prepárame la cena ("Make me dinner") for the campaign's music video. Both will premier on Tr3s and MTV Latin America next Tuesday.
The 19-time Grammy award-winning band is the latest to join a list of celebrities that have collaborated with MTV EXIT, including the actors Angelina Jolie and Jared Leto and the bands Radiohead and Muse. Mr. Aasen said the band's participation is key for the campaign's Latin American focus as it will allow UNICEF "to reach millions of potential victims by communicating with them directly, using their language."
"If we can use the power of our brands to promote human rights and bring this issue of trafficking and exploitation to light in the media, we will take an important step forward in raising awareness and protecting youth," said Mario Cader-Frech, Vice President, Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility for MTV Latin America and Tr3s.