Human Trafficking News

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Asian pop stars back fight against human trafficking, August 7

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Asian pop stars back fight against human trafficking

Tue Aug 7, 2007 9:48PM IST

By James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - Two of Asia's hottest pop acts, Thailand's Tata Young and South Korea's Rain, are to help highlight the fight against rampant human trafficking in Asia in an MTV-backed initiative on Wednesday.

"How could people do this to each other?" Thai pop sensation Tata Young told Reuters by phone from Bangkok.

"To hear all these stories of children and women and men going through human trafficking and exploitation, it hurts me so bad," added the confident, brassy 26-year-old, whose skimpy outfits and best-selling albums have led to her being dubbed Asia's Britney Spears.

Young will help host shows and documentaries on youth music channel MTV which is aiming to raise awareness of what has been described as a "tragic form of modern day slavery" in collaboration with the U.S.-based Agency for International Development (USAID).

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says economic disparities in Asian countries such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia fuel the trafficking of children and women towards Thailand.

Australia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are also considered major destinations by the ILO for the trafficking of prostitutes from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Human trafficking is a major global problem, particularly in Asia and Africa. The United Nations estimates 2.5 million people are currently coerced into forced labour or prostitution in a trade worth $7-10 billion annually.

Another Asian star, South Korea's King of Pop, Jung Ji-Hoon -- better known as Rain, will also help MTV publicise the cause.

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