Burmese pop star named MTV EXIT campaign ambassador



New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burmese pop star Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein has been designated the MTV EXIT campaign ambassador for Burma, a campaign official said.

Simon Goff, Executive Director of MTV EXIT, said his group began the campaign to raise awareness on human trafficking in Burma with Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein hosting the launch of a documentary film in Rangoon on Friday.

“Phyu Phyu is the Burmese celebrity, who has become the Ambassador of the campaign, and is the presenter of the documentary in Burmese,” Goff told Mizzima on Friday.

The Music Television’s End Exploitation and Trafficking (EXIT) campaign on Friday morning, 10 a.m. (local time), launched the documentary film in Sedona Hotel in Rangoon, Goff said.

“We believe this documentary film will be able to raise awareness among the people to protect themselves from traffickers,” he added.

The MTV EXIT in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) produced the documentary film that narrates stories of real people that have become victims of human trafficking, Goff said.

The Burmese pop star is joining a list of international and Asian celebrities including Hollywood star Lucy Liu, Korean singer Rain, Thai pop star Tata Young, Chinese singer and film star Karen Mok, and Bollywood actress Lara Dutta, in raising awareness on human trafficking.

Goff said, the state-owned televisions – MRTV, MWD, and MRTV4 – have agreed to air the documentary, which is the first of the campaign, that would also be distributed in military-ruled Burma.

“We don’t know as yet, but the documentary will be broadcast in the coming weeks,” Goff said.

With a large number of Burmese people migrating to foreign countries, Goff said, it is important for Burmese people to be aware of the dangers of human trafficking, so that they can safely migrate.

“But it is the same in all the countries that we have launched. In fact, it is an issue that all society needs to learn about and understand,” Goff said.

The US State Department in its ‘Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 – Burma,’ ranked the military-ruled Southeast Asian nation in ‘Tier 3’, which means that the Burmese government is not making significant efforts to meet minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

“Overall, however, serious problems remain, and in some areas, most notably in the area of forced labour, the Government of Burma is not making significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, warranting a ranking of Tier 3,” the report said.

The report said military and civilian officials in Burma remain directly involved in forced labour and the unlawful conscription of child soldiers, with reported cases of child soldiers increasing annually.

“Furthermore, the regime has not yet adequately addressed the phenomena of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and labour exploitation within the country,” added the report.

The campaign was launched in late 2007, with the broadcast of the documentaries “Traffic: An MTV Special” and “Sold: An MTV Special” in numerous Asian countries and the Indian subcontinent.

Throughout 2008, country-by-country broadcast launches continued, along with the first on-the-ground events, including the first government-supported rock concert in Laos and a country-wide awareness campaign in Cambodia, which included the first rock concert ever held at Angkor Wat.

In late 2008, the MTV EXIT held a music concert in Bangkok to raise awareness on trafficking, where the Burmese pop star Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein and Thai celebrities, were present, alongside The Click Five.

Goff said MTV would also like to organize other activities including a music concert saying, “We are hoping in the future to be able to do more things in Burma. But we are hoping to have a concert but there is nothing at the moment.”


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