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Kiwis to Join Momentum Against Human Trafficking

Kiwis to Join Momentum Against Human Trafficking Following Landmark Thai Court Case

Hundreds of Kiwis will be joining the momentum in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation following news of Thailand’s largest ever human trafficking trial by riding in the Tearfund Poverty Cycle in August.

Sixty-two people were convicted in a Thai court on July 19 for offences including human trafficking, organised trans-national crime and forcible detention leading to death.

Defendants accused of smuggling and trafficking migrants on the Thai-Malaysia border included high-ranking officials – among them police officers, local politicians and a Thai army general.

Tearfund NZ chief executive, Ian McInnes, says he is encouraged by the result as it will help to prevent “thousands” of vulnerable people from lives of slavery.

“The scale of this prosecution is a major step forward in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation in Southeast Asia,” he says.

“Thailand’s location in Southeast Asia and its booming economy make it a magnet for people-smugglers and traffickers. Too many victims end up trapped in slavery in everything from fishing fleets to forced prostitution; or they are shaken down as they pass through Thailand seeking refugee status in the next country. Some die along the way. It’s appalling, but it’s very encouraging to see Thai authorities acting to stop this.”

Mr McInnes says he encourages other Kiwis to join the fight and help secure even more prosecutions of human traffickers by registering for the Tearfund Poverty Cycle.

“A number of us are getting on our bikes in order to raise money to free victims of human trafficking and exploitation. All are welcome to join us on August 26 at Ardmore Airport to get fit, have fun, and make a difference in the lives of those trapped in slavery and exploitation.”

The Tearfund Poverty Cycle is a charity road-relay race around a 25km circuit, which raises money for Tearfund’s anti-trafficking and exploitation partners based in the Asia-Pacific, to prosecute traffickers, prevent the vulnerable from exploitation and rehabilitate survivors into better lives.

Last year’s Poverty Cycle saw key businesses, groups, individuals and clubs riding together to raise $128,000, which helped enable Tearfund’s partner, Nvader, to aid in securing the prosecution of 25 human trafficking offenders in Thailand, and rescue 54 victims.

To register for the Poverty Cycle or for more information, visit http://www.povertycycle.org.nz/.
ENDS

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