On December 7th, performing artists, human rights activists, non-governmental organizations, and officials of the Royal Cambodian government will gather at Angkor Wat to focus world attention on the scourge of human trafficking.
A rock concert will be held at Angkor Wat, December 7th, in cooperation with MTV EXIT [End Exploitation and Trafficking], a project of the MTV Europe Foundation. This London-based charity is working to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking exploitation. MTV EXIT in Asia is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development.
British and a number of international artists will perform along with some of Cambodia's biggest recording artists, including Pou Khliang. The Angkor Wat show is part of an exciting nation-wide concert tour that began November 22nd at Ochheuteal Beach in Sihanoukville. The final concert, featuring Cambodian pop star Preap Sovath, will be held at Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh on December 12 in recognition of Cambodia's National Day to Combat Human Trafficking.
"We are incredibly proud to perform at this important concert," said one band member. "We hope that through our music and involvement in this event and the MTV EXIT campaign that millions of people learn about this tragic form of slavery." The concert tour will provide content for a series of television programmes produced by MTV EXIT to be broadcast in Cambodia and on MTV channels internationally. These specials will combine concert footage with important information about human trafficking.
Public awareness is just one component of a larger global effort to prevent human trafficking. In its annual report on human trafficking, the U.S. State Department notes that the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and expunging corruption, are critical to the fight against trafficking. Estimates suggest that some 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually, with up to 80 percent of the victims being female and up to 50 percent being children. These figures do not include millions who are trafficked for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation within national borders as well.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it is important for "responsible nations across the globe to stand together, to speak with one voice, and to say that freedom and security are non-negotiable demands of human dignity."