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Hard-Hitting Anti-Sexploitation Speaker Coming to NZ

Media Release

Hard-Hitting Anti-Sexploitation Speaker Coming to NZ

Is media and popular culture fuelling international sex trafficking?

Hard-hitting international author, speaker, and advocate against the sexual exploitation of women and children, Melinda Tankard Reist, believes so. She will be visiting New Zealand from September 4 to 9 to discuss the issue.

Reist, from Australia, is the co-founder of Collective Shout; a campaigning movement which exposes corporations, advertisers and media who objectify women and sexualise girls in order to sell products and services.

She will be speaking in Auckland and Christchurch about how the sexualisation of women and children fuels sex-trafficking and interferes with youths’ physical and emotional development.

“I want to bring to light the topics that are traditionally swept under the carpet in our society; I want people to know how young women and children are made to feel, both in media and in sex trafficking rings across the globe, but most importantly I want to provide solutions” says Reist.

She is hosted by TEAR Fund, an international aid and development organization that works with partners to combat human trafficking, free victims and prosecute those responsible.

TEAR Fund’s events manager, Sharon Raath, describes Reist’s speaking style as “brutally honest”.

“Melinda takes the audience on a journey to the darkest places around the globe and describes how popular culture got us there. We are truly excited to have Melinda in New Zealand.”

For more information on the Melinda Tankard Reist tour venues and times visit www.tearfund.org.nz/melinda-tour/ or call 0800 800 777.

Facts about sex trafficking:

Sex trafficking is organised criminal activity where human beings are forced to engage in sexual acts for the commercial gain of perpetrators, through deception, coercion and violence.

4.5 million people are trapped in sexual exploitation globally.

The average age of victims trafficked into prostitution is 12 years old.

The majority of trafficking victims come from poor families and those living below the international extreme poverty line on $2.25 a day.

Sexual exploitation earns criminal networks over $99 billion per annum, second only to drugs in international crime.


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