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Lucy Liu in Traffic: An MTV EXIT Special

HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS AND UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADOR LUCY LIU JOINS MTV EXIT CAMPAIGN TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR EXPLOITATION AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN NEW ZEALAND

MTV NETWORKS NEW ZEALAND PRESENTS
TRAFFIC: AN MTV EXIT SPECIAL
PREMIERING ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY DEC 10

EMBARGO 9 December 2007: Auckland – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and star of hit movies such as Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, is turning her attention to the critical social issue of human trafficking by presenting a unique and powerful MTV documentary aimed at raising awareness and increasing prevention of human trafficking in the Asia-Pacific. MTV New Zealand is premiering Traffic: An MTV EXIT Special presented by Lucy Liu on International Human Rights Day, Monday December 10 at 10pm.

Traffic tells the stories of real people who unwittingly became part of the trafficking chain, including Anna, who was trafficked from the Philippines and forced into prostitution; Eka, an Indonesian woman trafficked into forced domestic servitude and a life of slavery; and Min Aung from Burma, who was trafficked to Thailand and imprisoned for two years in a factory.

Their harrowing stories are told alongside other people in the trafficking chain, including a trafficker from the Philippines who has been forcing girls into prostitution for over 20 years, a young man from Taiwan who pays for sex, an anti-trafficking police officer from Thailand, and a woman who runs a shelter in Singapore for victims of trafficking and other abuses.

The documentary gives insight into the realities of trafficking, emphasizes that everyone plays a role in the issue, and provides information on how individuals can protect themselves against trafficking, as well as what people can do to help end exploitation and trafficking.

“In NZ there is little evidence of trafficking but New Zealanders cannot be complacent about this rampant problem that exists in our backyard of Asia and the Pacific.” Says Dennis McKinlay Executive Director UNICEF New Zealand “Trafficking children for labor, child brides and sexual exploitation is the third largest criminal activity in the world today after armaments and drugs. The scale of human misery and exploitation is hard to imagine, but is a daily reality for far too many vulnerable children. UNICEF NZ works to stop this dreadful practice by improving border control, freeing children and rehabilitating them”

"I first became aware of the tragedy of human trafficking through my work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and I am now very happy to be able to join the MTV EXIT Campaign to educate young people about this form of modern-day slavery,” said Lucy Liu. “We all have to make a stand against trafficking, and awareness of the issue is the important first step towards bringing an end to this cruel trade in human beings."

"Human trafficking has become a critical human rights issue facing young people across Asia and the Pacific. Victims are subject to horrendous abuses, including rape and torture, with women and girls particularly affected," said Bill Roedy, Vice Chairman, MTV Networks. “MTV EXIT is part of our commitment to highlighting issues affecting young people in Asia and across the world, and we are delighted that Lucy Liu is joining us and lending her powerful voice to the fight against trafficking and exploitation.”

“Law enforcement and community-level efforts to stop human trafficking have been hampered by the public’s lack of awareness about the severity of this problem,” said Olivier Carduner, USAID’s Regional Mission Director for Asia. "USAID is funding this project to reach hundreds of millions of people in a region that accounts for many of the world’s trafficking victims," Carduner said. "Raising awareness will encourage communities to promote the law enforcement and victim outreach efforts needed to stop this atrocious crime.”

MTV EXIT television programming is produced rights-free and free of charge for all broadcasters and organisations. All the programming is also available to be streamed and downloaded from www.mtvexit.org. For more information on child trafficking visit www.unicef.org.nz


ENDS


For more information on trafficking in New Zealand and interview opportunities MTV EXIT Asia and Pacific Campaign Director, Simon Goff or Jennifer Burn, or Executive Director of UNICEF New Zealand, Dennis McKinlay, please contact:

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More Information:

MTV New Zealand: MTV NZ is a 24-hour music and entertainment channel targeting 15 -29 year olds on SKY Digital channel 60 and SKY Mobile TV on Vodafone 3G. Visit www.mtv.co.nz for more details.

Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking is defined by the United Nations as “the recruitment, transportation, and receipt of a person for sexual or economic 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 for themselves and their families.

MTV EXIT Campaign to End Exploitation and Trafficking
Traffic is a unique documentary that is broadcasting across MTV’s channels in the Asia-Pacific. The following language versions have been produced: English: Lucy Liu / Korean: Rain / Thai: Tata Young / Japanese: Verbal / Mandarin: Karen Mok / Tagalog & English: Christian Bautista / Bahasa Indonesian: Krisdayanti / Mongolian: D. Bold / Vietnamese: Ha Anh Tuan. MTV is also working closely with broadcasters in other territories to produce more language versions with local celebrities.

MTV EXIT has also produced a documentary looking at the issue in South Asia called Sold. This show is presented by Bollywood actress and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta with versions in both Hindi and English.

The MTV EXIT initiative across Asia and the Pacific is an expansion of the successful MTV EXIT European campaign, which has been raising awareness and increasing prevention of trafficking and exploitation in Europe since 2004. Many influential artists have supported MTV EXIT’s special programming and events in Europe, including Angelina Jolie, Helena Christensen, and R.E.M.

MTV Europe 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 non-governmental organizations that are working on the ground to address these issues and effect positive change.

MTV Networks in Asia and the Pacific: 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 and the Pacific comprises three distinctly branded channels in the region reaching more than 400 million households: 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. In Asia and the Pacific, MTV and Nickelodeon’s businesses also include branded consumer products, program sales and digital media comprising of 19 websites, three broadband services and various mobile platforms. MTV Networks in Asia and the Pacific has a total of 25 channels which are seen via 24-hour and programming blocks.

USAID
USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, is an independent U.S. government agency that receives foreign policy guidance from the U.S. Secretary of State. Since 1961, USAID has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries world-wide recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. See www.usaid.gov for more information.

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