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Actors Team up to Fight Human Trafficking

Vicious Criminal, Stripper And Psychologist Team up to Fight Human Trafficking

Some of New Zealand’s best known television characters are joining forces to stand up against human trafficking.

Laura Thompson (Shortland Street’s ex-villain, Victoria), Emma Fenton (Filthy Rich’s Savannah, stripper and leading lady) and Ido Drent (Offspring’s psychologist heartthrob, Lawrence) are teaming up with TV personality Petra Bagust to raise funds to fight human trafficking with this years’ Live Below the Line campaign.

They campaign will see them eating on $2.85 a day (the equivalent of the extreme poverty line) from September 19 to 23.

“For me, Live Below the Line is a great opportunity to forgo some of the freedoms I take for granted. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to stand with my brothers and sisters around the world who don’t have this freedom, and to help change the way their stories end,” says Ido.

The money raised from the campaign funds Tearfund’s anti-human trafficking and slavery work in the hot spot of Southeast Asia.

Human trafficking and slavery are prevalent today with 21 million people are trapped in slavery, more than any other time in history. Of those, 4.5 million people are trafficked into sex slavery, mostly women and children.

Journey to trafficking epicentres

Petra Bagust and Ido Drent will gain a first-hand experience of the human trafficking industry when they travel to Thailand and Cambodia, in early September.

Petra and Ido will visit the red-light district in Bangkok, participating in a mock investigation, meeting undercover investigators, lawyers, trauma councillors and human trafficking survivors.

Their visit will be an eye-opening and emotional experience according to Tearfund’s anti-trafficking specialist, Barbara-Anne Lewis.

“Meeting innocent young girls, living with no food, no running water and barely a roof over their head is incredibly sad. To then learn that they are being sold each night to migrant fisherman for sex, just so their brothers and sisters can eat, breaks your heart in every way imaginable,” says Ms Lewis.

“Tearfund’s work on the ground is at the cutting edge of the counter trafficking movement. By joining Live Below the Line, you will help us protect and rebuild many more innocent lives.”

Foodies get on board
Kiwi foodies and bloggers are also stepping up to the ceramic plate to fight human trafficking by creating 95 cent recipes for Live Below the Line participants. Michael Meredith (head chef and owner of Meredith’s and Eat My Lunch), Geoff Scott (award winning chef and food writer), Bevan Smith (food writer, owner and head chef at Riverstone Kitchen) and Peta Mathias (chef, author and entertainer) will be producing recipes.

For more information or to sign up to Live Below the Line visit livebelowtheline.org.nz.


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