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Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)

Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex

Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls have been trafficked into sex slavery; rescuing them from a life of despair and degradation, and prosecuting the criminal networks that are the sex industry’s best kept secret.

Sex trafficking makes $US99 billion in profit each year, with an estimated 4.5 million women and girls currently in slavery. The average age of a girl trafficked into a brothel is 12. With statistics like these, it is not hard to be motivated to help bring change.

This year, TEAR Fund is devoting all money raised from Live Below the Line to our work in anti-trafficking. Live Below the Line is a multi-agency, global campaign where people live on the poverty line of $2.25 per day for five days to raise money for a cause. If you do Live Below the Line for TEAR Fund, that money goes to set women and children free.

Poverty itself is a major contributor to trafficking. Poverty means lack of options, vulnerability and desperation. Live Below the Line becomes a physical and emotional journey as participants experience a form of poverty for five days. Living on 75 cents per meal may sound hard, but we have enlisted the help of over 40 of New Zealand’s favourite chefs and food writers to create a cookbook, One Helping. We gave Simon Gault, Ray McVinnie, Dr Libby Weaver, Nadia Lim, Anabelle Langbein and a host of other food celebs their greatest culinary challenge: to pack One Helping full of their own 75 cent per recipes!

The cause is a good one. “In Thailand we see toddlers being raised on the streets with nothing more than a concrete slab under a shop awning for their bed”, says Emma Conyngham, Editor of One Helping, who returned from Thailand last week. “It’s not hard to imagine that the first offer of a job, even a bad-paying one, will be taken. Traffickers prey on this; offering false jobs to desperate people who travel to a new destination in hope of a better life, only to have their passports taken and false debts incurred with imprisonment and prostitution forced on them.”

“TEAR Fund’s work, with their partner Nvader, breaks this cycle. By using covert surveillance and best practices in undercover investigations, they don’t just rescue the girls, they also take down the criminal networks that perpetuate the problem. It’s dangerous but incredible work,” she says.

By purchasing One Helping, all profit goes directly to TEAR Fund’s work in Southeast and Central Asia. There is no obligation to do Live Below the Line; One Helping is still a great recipe book for those who live on a budget or would like something other than two-minute noodles while they wait for payday.

One Helping will be launched at the Food Show, then available for $29.99 (+P&H) from www.tearfund.org.nz.

For more information call 0800 800 777 or go to www.tearfund.org.nz


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